Only 1% of mink farmers in Denmark have applied for dormancy compensation, while the vast majority are considering closing their business, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has revealed.
Denmark is the top exporter of mink fur, producing more than 40% of the world’s skins, but the farming of these animals has been banned since November 2020, as the government ordered the culling of all mink due to their high susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. .
The mink supply sector has been receiving state compensation since February 2021, with the industry allowed to resume operations in 2023, if accepted by the Danish Research Institute SSI on May 2. However, more than 1,200 Danish farmers have opted to receive financial compensation to close their farms, signaling the sinking of a multi-million business for the Nordic country.
The mass culling of more than 15 million mink has also raised environmental concerns, particularly on the Jutland peninsula, where mink farms were located and graves have been dug. In May 2021, Denmark began exhuming mink killed the previous winter, concluding its operations within the year. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration counted more than 28,000 tons of mink material to be extracted and soil restoration measures to be put in place.
The agency’s assessment of soil and groundwater samples taken from the towns of Kølvrå and North Felding, where the mink graves were located, later in March 2022 revealed no risk of contamination from the drinking water or nearby streams in both areas. In April, agency officials met with concerned citizens to tell them that the measures implemented had succeeded in preventing environmental pollution.
Denmark’s mink door isn’t over though, with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen still facing charges as a parliamentary committee to investigate the legal basis for the slaughter was set up after the government made the decision. The report is expected to be released in the coming weeks.