Should We Forever Put an End to Mink Farming in the U.S.
U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro, D-CN., Nancy Mace, R-SC and Peter DeFazio, D-OR support ending mink farming in the U.S. Mink are susceptible to SARS CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 and easily spread COVID to one another as well as potentially back to humans. With so much COVID occuring on mink farms the virus can even mutate among the mink creating new variants which may potentially infect humans. What’s more, mink are mass produced on these U.S. farms only to be sold to other nations after being slaughtered. There are definite welfare concerns regarding the way which the mink are housed.
In the U.S., at least hundreds of thousands of mink were destroyed on farms. Denmark has culled all of the country’s 17 million mink to curb a COVID-19 mutation and because the mammal was considered likely to host future mutations. Some were buried in pits in a military area in western Denmark under two metres of soil only for some to resurface in less than a month. Contaminants were later found under the graves in an examination carried out on behalf of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, prompting the government to order the incineration of the the animals. Also culling mink, Canada Spain, Sweden, Italy and other nations.
The DeLauro-Mace-DeFazio amendment mirrors the bipartisan Minks In Narrowly Kept Spaces (MINKS) Are Superspreaders Act, H.R. 4310, they introduced in 2021 with Reps. Michael McCaul, R-TX., Claudia Tenney, R-NY, Raul Grijalva, D-AZ, David Valadao, R-CA, Jan Schakowsky, D-IL., Veronica Escobar, D-TX, and Lance Gooden, R-TX.
The amendment to the America COMPETES Act bans the possession of mink “raised in captivity for fur production,” stopping the routine misery of animals on around 60 farms that have anywhere from a few thousand to 100,000 mink kept in cages.
Pandemic aside, the way in which mink are kept in the first place is ripe for potential disease creation of any sort and ultimate mutation and transmission to humans. What’s more, this is overwhelmingly cruel.
These American mink farmers almost exclusively exported pelts to elite customers in the People’s Republic of China.
The Center for a Humane Economy’s conclusive 102-page report entitled Mink Farming & SARS-CoV-2, by former USDA infectious disease expert Dr. Jim Keen details the public health risk associated with mink farms. In practical terms, there are just two species that contract the virus in large numbers and spill it back to other species – humans and mink. There have been outbreaks of COVID-19 at 450 mink farms in North America and Europe, spawning at least three variants. The environment in which factory farmed mink are raised “maximizes chances for intraspecific aggression, viral infections, and mutations,” according to Dr. Keen.
It’s arguably past time for the Senate to help enact the ban on mink production; contact your U.S. Senator.