To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to protect human and animal health following the publication of findings by the Dutch Government that mink fur farms could act as a long-term reservoir of covid-19.
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.