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Minks on fur farms all over the world—including in Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, and the U.S. (in Michigan, Utah, and Wisconsin)—have contracted COVID-19 from human workers. In Wisconsin, the top fur-producing state, more than 3,000 minks have died from the novel coronavirus at one farm alone, and six countries (Denmark, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, and the U.S.) as well as the Faroe Islands are now reporting a new mink-related Sars-CoV-2 mutation in humans. Denmark has already killed millions of minks and is planning to kill all of them in the country—up to 17 million—because of the mutated strain of coronavirus was discovered in them and then passed to humans.
The coronavirus crisis has shown us that cramming sick and stressed animals together in unsanitary conditions creates the perfect breeding grounds for dangerous zoonotic diseases, which can jump from other species to humans. On fur farms, minks, foxes, and other animals are confined to wire cages, often stacked atop each other, allowing disease to spread easily through urine, excrement, pus, and blood.
In Wisconsin, a PETA eyewitness exposé of Dillenburg Fur Farm, LLC, found thousands of minks warehoused in rows of filthy wire-floored cages atop piles of their own waste that sometimes reached a foot high. One mink who was trying to escape chewed through a cage until her face was bloody.
If you're a Wisconsin resident, please join PETA in calling on Gov. Tony Evers to follow the lead of France, the Netherlands, and Poland by shutting down the state's risky, cruel fur farms immediately. Minks and other fur-bearing animals are individuals who just want to be left alone to explore, care for their young, and live as they please. No one, including minks, deserves to die from COVID-19—and the animals definitely don't deserve to live in filth and be gassed, bludgeoned, or skinned for fashion.