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2020.11.26 14:39

Coronavirus found at Lithuanian mink farm

BNS, LRT.lt2020.11.26 14:39

The coronavirus has been found at a mink farm in Lithuania's central district of Jonava, the country's State Food and Veterinary Service confirmed on Thursday.

“As minks suddenly started to die at the farm, samples were taken. Tests showed that minks had this infectious disease,” Jurgita Savickaitė, a spokeswoman for the service, told BNS.

Earlier this month, Denmark ordered its farmers to cull more than 15 million minks nationwide after a coronavirus mutation was found that officials fear might be resistant to vaccines. However, it later withdrew the order which critics said had no legal basis.

This week, Covid-19 was found among minks in a farm in the north of Poland.

Česlovas Tallat-Kelpša, head of Vilkijos Ūkis and the Lithuanian Association of Animal Breeders, said the coronavirus spread at the mink farm in Jonava which belongs to Danmink, with Vilkijos Ūkis being its main shareholder.

Read more: Lithuania monitors mink farms after Denmark detects coronavirus mutation

Tallat-Kelpša says over 20 dead minks tested positive for the coronavirus. “It’s not a lot, 22 minks. […] And they are gone already,” he told BNS, noting that no live minks have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Danmink currently owns over 30,000 minks, Tallat-Kelpša said. “They all have been tested since last week, and tests were done at Danmink, and they all came back negative,” he said.

Tallat-Kelpša believes minks could have contracted the virus from an infected worker. “I learned about that only yesterday,” he said.

Further actions will be coordinated with the State Food and Veterinary Service, he said.

Eighty-six farms in Lithuania currently have over 1.6 million minks, according to data from the Food and Veterinary Service.

Read more: Activists reveal appalling conditions at Lithuanian fur farms