Authorities in the Spanish region of Aragon ordered the slaughter of almost 100,000 minks, all after verifying that many of them were infected with coronaviruses, the regional head of Livestock, Joaquín Olona reported Thursday.
What Did He Say?
“We are talking about the compulsory slaughter of all the animals that make up this farm,” a total of 92,700 specimens of these mammals highly prized for their fur, Olona said at a press conference.
The farm, located in the town of Puebla de Valverde, was already under “precautionary immobilization” since May 22, without animals or derived products being able to leave it, as a result of the fact that seven workers tested positive for covid-19 explained the manager.
Since then, the authorities applied successive PCR tests to the animals, until in known results on July 13, 87% of the sample tested positive, leading the authorities to make the decision to slaughter them to “avoid risks to the population” Olona said.
Since the outbreak originated from a worker who became infected outside the farm, the only one that raises minks in Aragon, authorities suspect that it was the employees who infected the animals.
But Olona ruled out being able to conclude with certainty “if there is transmission from animals to humans or vice versa.”
In the Netherlands, tens of thousands of minks from around twenty hatcheries had to be slaughtered since the start of the pandemic after cases of covid-19 were detected among them, the Ministry of Agriculture reported in early July.
In May, Dutch authorities established that two hatchery workers had “most likely” contracted covid-19 through mink, which could be the first known transmission from animal to man, according to the World Health Organization (WHO ).
Spain, one of the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic with more than 28,400 deaths, managed to minimize infections last month, but has seen an increase in cases in recent days and has more than 120 active outbreaks.