The chairman of the Icelandic Vegan Society has stated that she does not understand why Iceland still allows mink fur farming, Fréttablaðið reports.
Valgerður Árnardóttir says that the industry is dangerous and should be shut down. These comments come in the wake of news from Denmark, that a COVID-19 mutation has been found in mink that can be passed on to humans. The Prime Minister of Denmark is calling for the culling of all mink on Danish mink farms.
“I think this is an immoral industry and animal cruelty. When animals are kept in such horrible conditions, various diseases spread,” Valgerður said. “We’ve seen this in Denmark as the coronavirus has mutated in mink and can cause more people to die. It’s not just about the animals, it’s also affecting people.”
The Food and Veterinary Association in Iceland (MAST) has now called for the screening of all mink in the country, although there is no suspicion that COVID-19 has occurred in mink farms in Iceland.
Valgerður says that this incident raises even more questions as to why mink farming is allowed to continue. In recent years, the mink fur industry has proven unpopular in Europe, with many countries abandoning it, and others planning to stop mink farming in the coming years. “I think it’s likely that the conditions that have arisen in Denmark will lead to the last nail in the coffin of the industry in that country”, says Valgerður.
A danger to our delicate ecosystem
The first mink was brought into Iceland around 1930, but Valgerður says that Icelanders never wanted the mink fur industry to start here. “There were many against it when the first minks were brought here. People were afraid for our ecosystem. These animals escape into the wild and have caused a great deal of havoc in our ecosystem. This is not an animal that should live in Iceland. We imported it and then treated it badly for 90 years. It is right that the industry should be closed down. We have moved away from this very much in recent years.”
Valgerður ended by saying that, although it was very sad that the mink in Denmark are being killed because of COVID-19, the reality is that they would all eventually be killed on mink farms anyway. “If we stop breeding and farming mink, we can find an end to this. There is no way I can support this industry or understand why we are still trying to keep it.”
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