Deadly virus threatening Danish mink industry – The Post

Deadly virus threatening Danish mink industry

Billions of kroner in exports hang in the balance

Mink Plasmacytosis is very contagious (photo: iStock)
November 25th, 2015 11:33 am| by Christian W

Denmark’s billion kroner export of mink fur is under siege from a potential outbreak of the feared and highly contagious Aleutian Disease, which is also known as Mink Plasmacytosis.

Over a very short period of time, the virus has spread to about 130 mink farms located near the Holstebro, Jutland area and evidence points to the virus source being in the feed used in the farms.

“Denmark is the only country in the world that has been pretty much spared this virus until now,” Tage Pedersen, the head of the national fur breeders association Dansk Pelsdyravlerforening and head of the fur trade company Kopenhagen Fur, told TV2 News.

“In other mink-producing nations, the illness has pretty much spread to all farms.”

READ MORE: Danish minister expresses support for mink farming following Dutch ban

Billions at stake
All the contaminated farms will now be emptied, washed and disinfected, and the mink in the affected farms will be put down.

Plasmacytosis leads to the mink getting infections, having smaller litters, dying and ultimately reducing the quality of the mink furs.

Denmark’s mink fur is renowned for its high quality. Danish exports of mink fur bring in about 10-13 billion kroner annually.