Poland tests mink for COVID despite fur industry’s objections


By Agnieszka Barteczko, Thomson Reuters

via The Mighty 790 KFGO (ND) - Nov 17, 2020


WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland has begun testing minks for coronavirus despite objections by lobby groups and some farm owners, who fear they could lead to a nationwide cull.


Earlier this month three industry associations warned a decision to test minks could pave the way for Poland to follow Denmark's move to cull its entire mink population after a mutated form of the virus was found.


"We are afraid that the agriculture ministry wants to follow the 'Danish path'," Daniel Chmielewski from the Polish Association of Fur Farmers said in an e-mailed statement.


The groups' representatives and some farm owners also signalled that they may refuse to allow the veterinary services to test their animals for coronavirus, which spread among mink in Denmark and some of their keepers despite earlier culls.


"Each of the breeders can agree or not to the test and it is their right. There must be some protection because anyone from the outside can also infect the minks," said Tadeusz Jakubowski from Polish Association of Fur Animals Breeders and Producers.


But the veterinary services said the tests, ordered by the agriculture ministry earlier in November, had started and the first samples would likely be sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute on Tuesday.


"We have taken 200 samples at 5 farms. There is full cooperation with the veterinary services," the head of a local veterinary inspectorate in the Masovian region in central Poland said on Tuesday...