By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson
Mink on two fur farms in Utah have tested positive for the coronavirus. The U.S. Department of Agriculture今天报道that “unusually large” numbers of animals had died at the two farms, which also reported positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in people who had contact with the mink. These are the first confirmed cases of the virus in mink on fur farms in the United States and they intensify the urgency around closing down these operations, which have already emerged as hotspots for the pandemic in several countries.
A我们在五月份发布的政策报告recommended a ban on the trade in animals like foxes, raccoon dogs and mink who are used for fur and are通用发射器of zoonotic diseases, in order to control the spread of the coronavirus and prevent future outbreaks. We have previously reported on outbreaks on 33 mink farms in the Netherlands, three in Denmark and one in Spain. More than 1.5 million mink, mostly newborn pups, have already been gassed to death in these countries to contain the spread of the virus.
Despite these culls, experts believe the farms remain potential reservoirs for the coronavirus. After fur farm workers in the Netherlands tested positive for the virus, the Dutch government said it is “very likely” they had contracted the virus from mink. The Netherlands is now considering closing down all fur farms in the country ahead of a 2024 deadline it had previously set for ending all fur production on its soil.
We need a similar discussion—and action—here, in the United States, where fur farming is still rampant despite declining consumer interest. There aremore than 200 fur farms在美国17个州,三小姐一起生产llion pelts last year. Utah produced more than 700,000 of these pelts in 2018 in its approximately55 mink fur farms. The state was the nation’s第二大生产国那年水貂毛皮，背后威斯康星。
近期恒指的调查已经揭露了terrible cruelty of fur farmsthe world over, where animals are bred and confined in small cages, bludgeoned to death and even, sometimes, skinned alive. Awareness about these cruel practices has led to declining consumer interest in fur and has prompted a number of major fashion houses and retailers to work with us to announce fur-free policies in recent years.
Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.