Moscow, Nov 19 : A senior World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies officer expressed the belief on Thursday that culling minks was an appropriate step in addition to other measures implemented to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Danish Minister of Environment and Food Mogens Jensen announced his decision to resign after failing to win legislative support for initiating the culling of all the farmed minks in the country in light of the detection of a mutated strain of coronavirus, which can be transmitted to humans and cause weak antibody production.
“In terms of culling, of course, where there are infected minks and where this has been documented, we encourage countries to look at infections within their mink populations. Culling is an appropriate measure in addition to other measures that might be implemented in terms of preventing transmission, such as biosecurity, such as increased testing in human communities that either work around the communities of mink farms or in the sector itself,” Dr. Catherine Smallwood, a senior emergencies officer of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, told a virtual briefing.
“This Cluster-5 variant, those specific mutations that are associated with Cluster-5 have not been documented in other countries, and Denmark has not identified any further cases of this Cluster-5 variant among humans to date. That means that the 12 cases that were detected in September still remained those only 12 cases reported to WHO at this stage. And this is also encouraging news,” Smallwood added.
WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge expressed the belief that mink farms were “a reservoir where the coronavirus is striving.”
He also thanked the Danish government for transparency on the issue.