Dead mink resurface from mass grave in Denmark

Several Danish lawmakers are calling for the bodies of dead mink culled to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus to be dug up and taken to a waste incinerator, the Jyllands-Posten newspaper reported on Friday (Nov 27).

The call follows reports that some of the mink have risen from their shallow graves in western Denmark after gases built up inside their bodies, Danish authorities said on Thursday.

“The gases cause the animals to expand and in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground,” Jannike Elmegaard of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said. He said it affected “a few hundred” animals.

Denmark ordered all farmed mink to be culled early this month after finding that a mutated coronavirus, which infected 12 people, showed decreased sensitivity to antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of any vaccines.

The mink were buried in trenches about 2.5m deep and covered with about 2m of soil, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said.

The mass graves are guarded 24 hours a day to keep people and animals away from the graves until a fence has been constructed, it said.

Authorities say there is no risk of the graves spreading the coronavirus, but residents have complained about the potential risk of contaminating drinking water and a bathing lake less than 200m from the mass graves.


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