Three minks that died on the second Fraser Valley mink farm tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
British Columbia’s chief veterinarian placed the farm under a quarantine order banning the movement of animals and materials from the facility to minimize the risk of spreading the virus, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Thursday (December) The statement announced on the 24th).
Plans are underway to take care of mink in the event of an outbreak to respect quarantine conditions and maintain the safety of workers and mink.
So far, farm workers have not tested positive for COVID-19.
“Three minks were tested after some animals in the herd experienced diarrhea. This may be a sign of mink COVID-19. Twenty-three animals from December 19th. He died on the farm during the 23rd. There are about 1,000 animals on the farm. It is currently unknown how mink was infected with the virus, and the ministry is currently trying to identify potential causes. We are cooperating with interested parties. ”
All British Columbia mink farms contribute to an enhanced monitoring and testing program to monitor COVID-19. Farms are inspected by ministry staff to ensure compliance with all animal welfare and biosecurity standards that provide the best precautions against disease as part of the routine process of the summer of 2020. I did.
Eight people tested positive for COVID-19 at BC Mink Farm
Earlier this month, the Fraser Health Department said eight people from different mink farms in Fraser Valley had tested positive for COVID-19.
Following this, BCAFF reported that between December 4th and 9th after the outbreak, about 1%, or about 200 mink, died.
Most of the minks on the first farm have not appeared to be symptomatic since then, and no further abnormal deaths have been reported. Genetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been completed in both animals and people involved in the first farm.
“The results show that humans and animals were infected with the same or nearly identical strains. The strains detected circulate in British Columbia and COVID-19 spreads from humans to animals and vice versa. It shows that it is not, “explains BCAFF.
The locations of both farms are not disclosed in accordance with Section 16.1 of the Animal Sanitation Act, which prohibits the disclosure of information that identifies specific locations of animals.
Animal rights group launches petition following COVID-19 outbreak on BC mink farm
Animal rights groups The ethical and environmental impact of fur farming in Canada after the outbreak.
Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The Fur-Bearers, a charity working to end the commercial fur trade Vancouver is great In a telephone interview, this kind of outbreak is not unexpected given the situation on the fur farm.
Regardless of the type of animal being raised, the fur farm “has problems with animals, the environment, and human health,” Fox said.
“There are tens of thousands of individuals on a farm. The keyword is individuals. Therefore, if you have a sick individual, the ability to spread the virus is certainly a domino effect,” explains Fox.
Fox adds that all farms in British Columbia are located in the Fraser Valley. This is part of the problem. If one person escapes, the virus can spread to nearby farms and animals.
“On these farms, thousands of minks are stored in small adjacent wire cages. Under these conditions, the outbreak of COVID-19 spreads like wildfire and is a diseased, curative, or sensitive host. It is possible to acquire new mutations that can change the severity of the disease, “said Dr. Jan Hajek, an infectious disease doctor at Vancouver General Hospital, in a statement.
“Parallel epidemics or reservoirs of the virus can be established in animals, which can later spread to humans and undermine our own response to this pandemic, such as face masks for workers. Infection control interventions and laboratory surveillance for early detection of outbreaks can help reduce these risks, but they cannot be ruled out. “