The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) has taken samples from all the mink farms in Iceland, and all have tested negative for COVID-19, Vísir reports.
Samples from the nine farms were sent to the University of Iceland Laboratory Of Pathology at Keldur and to Icelandic Genetics. The samples were taken from mink that had been killed for their fur. By the end of the annual fur cull, the mink population now stands at 15,000 live animals.
The samples were taken after it was reported that a mutation of the COVID-19 virus had been found in mink in Denmark that could be passed onto humans. Millions of mink on Danish farms have been culled in light of the discovery. Although there was no reason to believe that the mutations would be found in Icelandic mink, it was decided that screenings must take place, to be sure.
MAST has made plans to take regular samples from all the mink farms this winter, and all workers on the farms will be sent for screening, according to the instructions of the epidemiologist.
The Ministry of Industry and Innovation has ordered stricter disease control measures on mink farms. The measures include stricter requirements for personal infection control among employees, ceasing movement of live mink, and prohibiting unnecessary visits to mink farms. Mink exhibitions will also be banned, and will not be shown at the animal park in Reykjavík.
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