(Copenhagen) Authorities said on Thursday that mink carcasses, hastily buried in Denmark after the mass slaughter of these animals in the fight against COVID-19, began to be unearthed for cremation.
All 15 million minks in Denmark were slaughtered in 2020 when the animals were found to carry a mutation in the coronavirus, which experts say may be resistant to vaccines.
Dig to burn
Some of them were urgently buried in two landfills in the west of the country, but due to the risk of contamination from the decomposition of the bodies of dead animals, the government decided to dig up the corpses and dispose of them.
On Thursday, specialized teams began excavating about 13,000 tons of bodies to be exhumed. They are then to be transported to the Maabjerg Energy Center (MEC) for incineration.
In a tweet, Agriculture Minister Rasmus Pren said he was “glad” everything is going according to plan.
MEC has warned that foul odors from carcasses can enter the area during transport and unloading, but that odor will disappear when they are incinerated at high temperatures in incinerators.
Transmitted to humans
Denmark was the main exporter of mink in the world when it decided to slaughter its entire herd after the discovery in some animals of a coronavirus mutation called Cluster 5, transmitted to humans and dangerous, according to experts, to threaten the effectiveness of vaccines.
The government has banned mink farming until January 2022, but its response to the crisis has made a lot of noise.
The government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was forced to admit that his decision to slaughter the Danish herd had no legal basis for animals not infected with the new coronavirus, and the Minister of Agriculture was forced to resign.
In addition, it has been found that decomposition of carcasses can cause soil contamination with phosphorus and nitrogen.
To make matters worse, dead burrows that were not buried deep enough crawled out of the ground.
Mink is the only animal that can become infected with humans and transmit disease to them.