The coronavirus pandemic isn't just affecting people. Turns out minks can get the virus, too: On Sunday, two Dutch fur farms were put under quarantine after minks at both sites tested positive for Covid-19.
The animals were tested after they were observed having difficulty breathing, and the Dutch Agricultural Ministry has since banned the farms from moving the minks or their manure and advised people not to go within 400 meters of the farms, according to a release from Humane Society International.
Though the Agricultural Ministry assumes that the animals contracted the virus from farm employees and "believes that the infected mink pose a 'negligible' risk to human health," Humane Society International claims that factory farming presents "an unnecessary and unacceptable risk for both human and animal health."
"Fur factory farms are breeding grounds for infectious diseases, confining thousands of wild animals in unsanitary, crowded and stressful conditions, with precious little veterinary care," said Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, in a release.
The creation of new mink farms was banned in the Netherlands in 2013, and the government has given existing mink farms until 2024 to close permanently. This attitude is in keeping with the anti-fur sentiments that have been gaining momentum in the fashion industry in recent years.