Mink: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the risks to (a) human and (b) animal health from covid-19 in mink fur farms.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are monitoring the situation carefully and have been in touch with the Dutch Authorities. The Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act was passed in England and Wales in 2000, with Sections 1 to 4 of the Act coming into force on 1 January 2003. Fur Farming was banned in 2002 in Northern Ireland and 2003 in Scotland, although there were no fur farms in either to ban at the time of these acts.

There are no mink farms existing in the UK. The risk to the UK population from these outbreaks is therefore negligible and the Dutch government is taking action on those farms that have been affected.

Nevertheless, we are keeping a close eye on the findings that mink can effectively maintain the virus which causes COVID-19.

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