Officials last week announced plans to slaughter Denmark’s 15 million farmed mink after a new strain of COVID-19 emerged among furry critters – a move that has put fur farmers “In an extreme and unusually difficult situation,” according to Kopenhagen CEO Fur Jesper Lauge.
“Unfortunately, even the strongest community cannot survive the consequences of the decisions that have been made,” Lauge said in a statement Thursday, adding that he had informed more than 300 company employees of the decision to put end to the business.
Kopenhagen Fur, which defines itself as the world’s largest fur auction house, sells furs produced by the 1,500 Danish farmers who also own it. They are part of a large industry in Denmark that breeds more than 16 million mink per year and is the country’s main export to China and Hong Kong, according to the company.
It’s unclear what the mass slaughter of mink will mean for the rest of the Danish fur industry, whose farms employ around 6,000 people. The government has pledged to compensate farmers for the murder.
But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals celebrated the impending Kopenhagen Fur shutdown, claiming that “virtual champagne corks are popping up” as the news broke.
“Since the public and almost all designers around the world are now shunning fur, it’s no surprise that two of the world’s largest fur companies – in Canada and Denmark – have collapsed,” said the president of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, in a statement. “The fur is well and truly dead.”
Denmark’s planned massacre was announced after Danish authorities discovered that several people had been infected with a coronavirus mutation that had also been found in mink. It is not known exactly how the animals were infected.
Kopenhagen Fur has said he will move forward with his planned four-auction season next year and continue to have sales in 2022 and 2023. He said he expects to receive around 5 to 6 millions of hides from “healthy farms outside restricted areas” over the next few weeks.
More than 2,000 mink are also expected to be killed in Greece, where several cases of the coronavirus have been detected among animals and breeders. But the country has not indicated that it will kill its entire mink population like Denmark.
With pole wires