Mink farms where coronavirus prevails have started: ‘Terrible but necessary’


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The NVWA at the mink farm in Deurne (photo: Eva de Schipper).

1/2 The clearing of the mink farms where the coronavirus has been diagnosed has started

The clearing of mink farms where the coronavirus is prevalent started at seven o’clock on Saturday morning. It is the turn of Huub Kuijpers’ breeding in Deurne. The rest will follow in the coming days.

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The mink farmer does the clearing of the nine thousand animals – adult minks and puppies. This will also be the case with other infected farms. That is what the profession wants. The Animal Affairs Council sends an animal welfare committee to Deurne. He checks whether the animals are suffering unnecessarily.

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Carbon monoxide hose
The minks are in loose barns. They are next to each other. In those sheds there are long rows of cages, along a long corridor. “A large container on wheels is driven through every shed,” says Benno Bruggink of the NVWA. “The animals are put out of their cages in that cart and the containers are then closed. A carbon monoxide hose is then connected to it and then it takes a few seconds for the animals to die. There is always someone present who is skilled in killing animals. .

According to Bruggink, each cage contains a mother animal with puppies. “Those puppies were born in April. A mink farmer kills adult animals once a year, but I can imagine that you still have a lot of trouble putting the carbon monoxide cock on those young animals. That is why we supervise this process from the NVWA.”

The minks are taken from the barns in Deurne (photo: Eva de Schipper).
The minks are taken from the barns in Deurne (photo: Eva de Schipper).

Necessary step
After clearing the animals, the company is cleaned and disinfected on Sunday. After that, the breeding has to close for a few weeks. “The breeding owner must then demonstrate that the virus has not returned,” says the NVWA spokesperson. He assumes that clearing will take all day.

“It is always terrible to see that you kill large numbers of animals and transport them to a destructor,” emphasizes Bruggink. “But this is a necessary step because of human and animal health.”

Urgent case
Animal rights organizations Animal Rights and Bont voor Dieren tried to prevent this through an urgent case on Friday, but the preliminary relief judge of the Board of Appeal for Business (CBb) rejected that request.

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, which took the decision to destroy the fur animals earlier this week, urged a swift decision to start clearing as soon as possible. The ministry fears disorder and therefore wants to proceed quickly to clearance, said the ministry’s lawyer at the emergency session on Friday.

Little eye for animal welfare
Animal Rights and Bont voor Dieren think that the ministry has too little regard for animal welfare and that the ministry should choose to isolate the companies. They believe that there are no legal grounds for clearing the mink farms.

The first mink farm to be culled is in Deurne (photo: Eva de Schipper).
The first mink farm to be culled is in Deurne (photo: Eva de Schipper).

The ten infected sites in total are located next to Deurne in Beek en Donk, De Mortel, Gemert, Landhorst, Milheeze and Ysselsteyn in Limburg. The mink breeders themselves settle for the clearance of their farms. “I also did not expect the judge to decide otherwise,” said director Wim Verhagen of the Dutch Federation of Noble Animal Farmers (NFE) on Friday evening. “I really don’t understand what those few activists wanted to achieve.” The mink industry was not present at the session on Friday.

The fur animals will be gassed. Then the stables are emptied and the dead animals are taken to Rendac, the rendering company in Son.

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