Denmark produces mink fur.
Mads Claus Rasmussen / EFE
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this Thursday that it has contacted the Danish authorities to find out details of the planned slaughter of millions of minks after detecting a coronavirus mutation in these animals.
“We are aware of information from Denmark about several people infected with mink coronavirus, with some genetic changes in the virus,” tweeted the WHO, whose regional office is based in Copenhagen.
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“We are in contact with the Danish authorities to find out more about this event,” adds the United Nations agency.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on Wednesday that until 17 million of those animals will be euthanized and that the measure has been taken out of precaution and responsibility towards the Danes and the people of the world.
Danish authorities reported twelve cases of coronavirus with a mutation in humans and that the same mutated virus was found in five cases of mink farms – of which Denmark is the world’s largest producer – in the north of the country.
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Frederiksen said that the Government has data on this mutation that indicates that they weaken the ability of the human body to create antibodies, which could put into question the effectiveness of the vaccines that are currently being developed against covid-19.
The minks that will be slaughtered for this reason are distributed in about a thousand farms and the Danish authorities have advanced that the implementation of the decision is “a complex initiative”.