The health authorities in Spain ordered the killing of 92700 minks on a property in La Puebla de Valverde, in the city of Teruel, in the Spanish region of Aragon. More than 80% of the animals tested positive for covid-19.
The announcement was made by the regional government of Aragon on Thursday, after it was discovered that more than 80% of the animals owned by the company Secapiel, specializing in leather and mink fur finishes, were infected with the new coronavirus. “The only goal [do abate de martas] is to avoid risks to the population and public health, “said Joaquín Olona, an adviser in the Aragon Environment Department, quoted by the newspaper” El País “in a press conference.
It all started in May when a worker’s wife tested positive for covid-19. On May 22, seven more workers were infected. The animals were initially isolated and then tested successively. No animal or product has entered or left the company since that time.
Between May 28 and June 8, there were no positive results for covid-19 in mink. On June 22, in a random sample of 30 animals, the result confirmed five infections, that is, a percentage of 16%. On July 7, 90 animals were tested, which resulted in 70 infected minks (86%).
“We cannot determine whether there is human-animal transmission or vice versa, what I can say is that the two possibilities fit together,” said Olona. It is still unclear who will have infected whom, but the regional health department has opted for the mink slaughter, which should happen in the next few days.
Covid-19 has already been detected in several mammals such as dogs and cats. In Denmark positive mink cases have been identified. In the Netherlands, thousands of animals of this species were slaughtered after positive tests.
The regional government of Aragon has not detected any irregularity in the company’s health security, which should be compensated financially for the death of the animals. Secapiel has not yet commented on the case.