Two more mink have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus from a Fraser Valley, British Columbia, farm already under quarantine from positive tests in May. In this instance, four mink had escaped their cages and were captured on the farm.
As a result of the new infections, a moratorium has been placed on any new mink farms in B.C., with a cap on existing mink farms at current numbers.
Three B.C. mink farms have had animals test positive since December 2020. “All three remain under quarantine, with no mink being moved to or from the properties.”
We studied 71 ferrets belonging to 7 owners; the ferrets were used as working animals for rabbit hunting in Ciudad Real Province, central Spain. All 71 ferrets were included in the study, and none showed clinical signs of any illness. Group sizes ranged from 4 to 21 (mean 10). Twenty ferrets belonging to groups 1 and 2 were resampled 66 days after initial sampling. Information on coronavirus disease in the owners was not available. Sampling took place during August–November 2020.
We found SARS-CoV-2 RNA in swab samples from 6 of the 71 ferrets.
We conclude that natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in kept ferrets does occur in circumstances of high viral circulation in the human population However, the high cycle thresholds observed and the lack of virus-positive ferrets at resampling suggest that small ferret populations are less able to maintain prolonged virus circulation than large, farmed mink populations.
In Denmark, SARS-CoV-2 variants co-circulating in mink and humans collectively acquired at least 35 different amino acid changes in the spike protein. These SARS-CoV-2 variants belong to lineage B.1.1.298. The receptor binding domain (RBD) substitution Y453F, also observed among Dutch farmed mink, appeared in the first transmission Cluster in June. A two-amino acid residue deletion (ΔH69/V70) in the N-terminal domain appeared together with the Y453F in August 2020 and occurred in the subsequent Clusters 2, 3, and 4. A new variant, termed Cluster 5, with two additional amino acid substitutions, i.e., I692V downstream of the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2)/furin cleavage site and M1229I within the transmembrane domain, was identified in September 2020 on 5 mink farms and in 12 human cases (age: 7–79 years; symptoms: asymptomatic to mild).
Given the potential of this variant to spread among humans, as observed for other mink-associated variants, and an increased risk of antigenic alterations with the multiple spike changes, it was deemed necessary to do a rapid evaluation of this “Cluster 5” variant in vitro. To aid timely public health responses, Statens Serum Institut released a preliminary report on 10 November 2020. A more detailed evaluation of this Cluster 5 variant and its in vitro fitness and neutralization potential is presented here.
The World Wildlife Fund has renewed its calls for American mink farms in Spain to be closed down following the news that another four outbreaks of Covid-19 have been identified at establishments in the Galicia province of A Coruña.
These latest outbreaks bring the total at mink farms in Spain up to 9, including 7 in A Coruña, and the WWF welcome the news that the issue is on the agenda for the current meeting of the European Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH). The organization continues to petition for the forced closure of the 25 mink farms in Galicia, due not only to the proven link between the species and the spread of coronavirus but also to the threat the invasive species represents to native wildlife.
According to the WWF, the Spanish authorities have been slow to take action regarding mink farms, not tightening the controls and checks at these establishments until late last year in contrast with the rapid reactions of other European governments, such as those of the Netherlands and Denmark.
A SARS-CoV-2 strain found on a Polish mink farm can be directly transmitted from the animals to humans and vice versa, the Agriculture Ministry has said. The mink virus variant, the first detected in farm animals in Poland is, up to now, not identical to any of the new strains found recently in humans, but belongs to an animal strain well-known to epidemiologists, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. It also differs from the strain detected in Danish minks, the ministry added.
The infection on the Polish mink farm in the northern county of Kartuzy was detected in late January. All 5,800 minks have been culled.
The Polish agriculture ministry stated that minks pose a threat of “an uncontrolled spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the formation of dangerous mutations because they are significantly susceptible to infection by this virus”.
Poland has joined forces with other EU countries to push the European Commission into banning mink farming in Europe because of the COVID-19 threat the animals pose to humans and wildlife, the Agriculture Ministry stated.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak has been detected in two mink farms in the Biała Podlaska district (eastern Poland), the Chief Veterinary Officer informed. This is the second outbreak of COVID-19 in mink in Poland.
“The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in two farms with a total of 8,000 female and 29,000 young mink, located at the same address in the Biała Podlaska district,” an announcement on the General Veterinary Inspectorate website stated.
The presence of the virus was detected on the basis of the laboratory test results carried out at the State Veterinary Institute in Puławy (eastern Poland). The samples for farm research were collected on June 16. “In the above-mentioned farms, samples were taken from 20 mink (40 swabs in total). In the case of 3 animals, the results were positive,” the press release said.
“All minks from farms where the virus has been confirmed will be put to sleep and disposed of,” Paweł Piotrowski, Lubelskie province head veterinarian stressed.
Image by Dzīvnieku brīvība – Baltic Devon Mink 09, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87445687
** The fur farming industry, in particular the mink industry, threatens the entire world with a storm of deadly new Sars-CoV-2 mutations. It must be closed to prevent further outbreaks which could become uncontrollable **
The Irish Cabinet is set to agree to ban fur-farming from next year, with a compensation package for farmers also expected. There are approximately 120,000 mink on three farms in counties Laois, Donegal and Kerry. The Cabinet will be told that the three farmers will be compensated for the closing down of their operations with asset value, earnings, redundancy payments and demolition fees to be considered in the package.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will today (Tuesday) bring a memo to Cabinet on the prohibition of fur-farming in Ireland, which will begin early in 2022 to allow the farmers see out the 2021 season.
A majority of genome sequences from human cases had clear phylogenetic relationships to sequences recovered from mink samples. Sequences from humans and mink from the same mink farms clustered closely together, suggesting within-farm human-to-mink and/or mink-to-human transmission. In sequences from two human samples from one of the negative mink farms the mutation Y453F, considered as an adaptation to mink, was observed.
“Between mid-October and mid-November, the National Veterinary Institute received 74 submissions of between 3–5 dead mink, representing between 1 and 4 submissions per farm. Thirteen farms gave positive results for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids using qRT-PCR. All positive farms were located in Sölvesborg, the County of Blekinge, in the south-eastern part of the country. None of the positive farms had reported increased morbidity or mortality before testing positive but, retrospectively, a slight increase in daily mortalities could be observed in the records from several of the farms.
All sequences from mink belonged to sub-lineage B1.1.39, a sub-lineage only seen once in Sweden before the outbreak. From the serological screening, 24 samples per farm were received from 26 out of the 28 mink farms that remained after the pelting. Specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in the vast majority of samples from 23 farms, including in all farms that previously had been tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids. In the remaining three farms, all samples tested negative.
A total of 100 persons have been registered in the program, but due to the seasonal mode of work, and changes in the workforce, the number of participants has varied. The 317 samples that have been taken and analysed for ongoing viral infection within the surveillance program have resulted in 8 positive persons. In addition to samples from these persons another 14 samples from mink farmworkers that was tested positive before the surveillance was launched were collected. All 22 samples were whole-genome sequenced (WGS). In the serological survey, 78 persons participated, among whom 27 tested positive.
The resulting sequences from WGS were analysed using pangolin. Generally, two main groups were seen, one representing sequences with a pangolin classification similar to that of sequences recovered from WGS of samples from minks (B.1.1.39) and the second group representing sequences with a pangolin classification identical to those circulating in Sweden at the time. The sequences were further analysed by aligning them towards the reference sequence NC_045512. A phylogenetic tree was calculated, and the subtree representing sequences with the pangolin classification B.1.1.39 was studied separately as new sequences were added.
A majority of sequences from human cases had clear phylogenetic relationships to sequences recovered from mink samples. Sequences from humans and mink from the same mink farms clustered closely together, suggesting within-farm human-to-mink and/or mink-to-human transmission. In sequences from two human samples from one of the negative mink farms the mutation Y453F, considered as an adaptation to mink, was observed.”
From: Mink-associated infections with SARS-CoV-2 –
** Update ** Mink farming was suspended for 2021 in Sweden, but on the basis of this report, mink farming should be banned entirely, not just in Sweden, but internationally. Mink farms risk becoming major reservoirs of Sars-CoV-2 capable of spilling back into the human population. The advantages of mink farming do not remotely outweigh the risks.
“Ferrets, mink and other members of the mustelinae family are particularly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They can infect members of their own species and there is evidence that mink can pass the infection back to humans.”
Ferret and other mustelinae keepers can join a register to share information about their animals with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). APHA will use the information on the register to contact you with information and guidance about disease prevention if there is an outbreak of disease affecting your animals.
You can sign up if you keep one or more mustelinae, including:
- hybrids of these animals
You are a keeper if you are responsible for the day-to-day care of the animals. This includes animals kept as pets.
You do not have to join the register by law at the moment. It is likely to become compulsory in the future if you keep more than a certain number of ferrets or other mustelinae. The number has not been decided yet.
APHA encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law.
If you join the voluntary register, APHA will include your details on the compulsory register when it is created. You will not need to re-register.
Ferrets, mink and other members of the mustelinae family are particularly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They can infect members of their own species and there is evidence that mink can pass the infection back to humans.
If there is a confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets, you may be contacted with information and advice about disease prevention measures.
The movement of animals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be restricted in line with The Zoonoses Order (1989) as amended.
* Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets and minks
In Galicia this week another mink farm has been temporarily closed down by the authorities following an outbreak of Covid-19 at the establishment. The American mink farm concerned is located in Carral in the province of A Coruña and the regional Department of the Environment reports that the outbreak has been reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food.
The presence of coronavirus has been detected in five mink, all of them asymptomatic, and the samples will now be analysed to establish which strain of SARS-CoV-2 is involved.
There are currently 25 registered mink farms in Galicia with a total of 71,479 reproducing females, and this is the fourth registered Covid-19 outbreak among them over the last 15 months. Anti-mink farming groups have again demanded the immediate closure of all such establishments in the light of the most recent findings, citing over 400 similar instances since the start of the pandemic in 12 countries, 10 of them in Europe.
As veterinary surgeons, virologists, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and animal behaviourists, we believe that outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on mink fur farms in multiple countries across Europe as well as in North America, present another compelling reason for governments around the world to consider ending the farming of animals for fur.
Outbreaks of the virus on mink fur farms have been officially documented thus far in the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Greece, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, Latvia, the United States and Canada. This is deeply concerning both from an animal health and public health perspective. Research using whole genome sequencing has concluded that a significant number of people working on fur farms have become infected with SARS-CoV-2 by mink in rare, but concerning, cases of animal to human disease transmission. It has further been shown that infection in mink can lead to mutations of the spike-proteins which, if transmitted to human populations, could potentially risk undermining the efficacy of vital vaccines.
It is clear that fur farms have the potential to act as reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2. Mink are certainly highly susceptible to this virus, but another fur-farmed species – raccoon dogs – is also capable of contracting it. Some scientists have postulated that fur farms in China, the largest fur producer in the world, could yet be implicated as having played a role in the early transmission of the virus in China, as a potential missing link. Given the scale of the industry in China, and the conditions for the animals on farms, it is at least a plausible source.
Mink are particularly susceptible to respiratory diseases. Additionally, the intensive breeding conditions typical on fur farms – animals unnaturally crowded together, poor hygiene, stress, injuries and low genetic diversity – are ideal for the creation and spread of novel pathogens. Footage taken on fur farms in countries all over the world consistently expose evidence of poor welfare conditions, and we note that fur industry certification schemes do not meaningfully improve animal welfare, nor satisfactorily address disease risk potential for live or dead animals. Severe animal welfare deficiencies are inherent to factory fur farming, and the trade creates potential for the many tens of millions of animals on fur farms to act as immediate, intermediate or amplifier hosts for viral pathogens. Even if the immediate threat of SARS-CoV-2 abates at a later date, such as through the development of a vaccine for these species, the low welfare and high-density nature of fur farming makes this industry susceptible to other pathogens in the future. As such, the next global pandemic could well find its origins or be spread through the exploitation of animals for the production of fur. To risk jeopardising our ability to control and end this or future global coronavirus pandemics, for the sake of fur fashion production, would seem imprudent.
We therefore support the call by Humane Society International for a permanent global end to the breeding, keeping and killing of animals for the purposes of fur production, and the sale of fur.
From a Letter to Boris Johnson 4th June 2021
1. Marc Abraham BVM&S MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM
2. Inês Ajuda, DVM, MSc, Programme Leader Farmed Animals, Eurogroup for Animals, BELGIUM
3. Bo Algers, Professor emeritus, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SWEDEN
4. Professor Michael C. Appleby OBE, University of Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM
5. Dr Sandra Baker, BSC (Hons) DPhil, Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UNITED KINGDOM
6. Juan Miguel Barros Dios, PhD, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Director of the Radon Laboratory of Galicia, Center for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health Network (CIBERESP), SPAIN
7. Professor Matthew Baylis, Chair of Veterinary Epidemiology, University of Liverpool, UNITED KINGDOM
8. Professor Diana Bell, Professor of Conservation Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UNITED KINGDOM
9. Dr Helen Bolter MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM
10. Vanessa Carli Bones, Post-Doc, PhD, MSc., Veterinary Surgeon, BRAZIL
11. Dr Ciara Clarke BSc Hons, BVSc, MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon, UNITED KINGDOJM
12. Claire Coupaud Mellado BVSc MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM
13. Prof. Dr. Gonçalo Da Graça Pereira, DVM, MsC, PhD, Dip ECAWBM (BM), Dip ECAWBM (AWSEL), European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine (Companion Animals), PORTUGAL
14. Nicola Decaro, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECVM, Full Professor of Infectious Diseases of Animals, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari Aldo Moro, ITALY
15. Dr Ankush Dhariwal, Infectious Diseases/ Microbiology doctor, FRCPath, DTMH, MRCP, MBChB, BSc, UNITED KINGDOM
16. Ilaria di Silvestre, BVSc MSc on Animal Behaviour and Ecology, BELGIUM 17. Professor Cathy Dwyer, BSc, PhD, Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare, SRUC and Director of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, UNITED KINGDOM
18. Prof Sarah Edwards, Professor of Bioethics, University College London, UNITED KINGDOM
19. Dr. Dwight Ferris, MD, FRCPC, infectious diseases consultant, clinical assistant professor, University of British Columbia, CANADA
20. Bruce Fogle MBE DVM MRCVS, President of the RSPCA Sussex Chichester & District Branch, UNITED KINGDOM
21. Dr Luke Gamble BVSc DVM&S FRCVS, Chief Executive at Worldwide Veterinary Service and Mission Rabies, UNITED KINGDOM
22. Magnus Gisslén, Professor of Infectious Diseases, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, SWEDEN
23. Dr. Pete Goddard, BVetMed PhD DipECSRHM DipECAWBM (AWSEL) MRCVS, EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law, UNITED KINGDOM
24. Nellie Goetz, DVM, MPH, Executive Director of Altered Tails Barnhart Clinic, Arizona, and former Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine at Midwestern University, Arizona, UNITED STATES
25. Emma Goodman Milne BVSc MRCVS, FRANCE
26. James Greenwood, BVSc MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM
27. Jan Hajek MD FRCPC, Infectious Diseases Specialist, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia, CANADA
28. Gail R. Hansen, DVM MPH, former state epidemiologist and state public health veterinarian for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, UNITED STATES
29. Lauren Henderson, DVM, MPH, UNITED STATES
30. Cat Henstridge BVSc MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM
31. Dr. Kathrin Herrmann, PhD, DipECAWBM (AWSEL), Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law; Animal Protection Commissioner of Berlin, GERMANY, and Faculty Senior Associate, Johns Hopkins University, UNITED STATES
32. Dr Joanna Hockenhull BSc (hons) MSc PhD member of the Animal Welfare and Behaviour Research Group, UNITED KINGDOM
33. Dr Mark Jones BVSc MSc (Stir) MSc (UL) MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM 34. Dr Laura Kahn MD, MPH, MPP, Research Scholar, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University, and Co-Founder of One Health Initiative, UNITED STATES
35. Barry Kipperman, DVM, DACVIM, MSc, DACAW, Instructor, Veterinary Ethics, University of California at Davis, Board President, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, UNITED STATES
36. Professor Andrew Knight MANZCVS, DipECAWBM (AWSEL), DipACAW, PhD, FRCVS, PFHEA, Professor of Animal Welfare & Ethics, & Founding Director, Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Winchester, UNITED KINGDOM
37. Professor Hans Jørn Kolmos, MD DMSC R, Research Unit of Clinical Microbiology, University of Southern Denmark, DENMARK
38. Dr Constantinos S. Kyriakis, Assistant Professor of Virology and Animal Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University, UNITED STATES
39. Ken Langelier OBC DVM, CANADA
40. Dr Natasha Lee, DVM MSc, MALAYSIA
41. Joann Lindenmayer, DVM, MPH, Associate Professor of Public Health (adjunct), Tufts University School of Medicine, Northeast Director of the Evidence-based Veterinary Medical Society, UNITED STATES
42. Professor Jiahai Lu PhD, Professor of Epidemiology & Microbiology, Director of Center of Inspection & Quarantine at School of Public Health, Sun Yat-Sen University, CHINA
43. Dr Henriette Mackensen, DVM, Deputy CEO of Science, Animal Welfare Academy, Deutscher Tierschutzbund, GERMANY
44. Prof. Alastair MacMillan BVSc MSc PhD FRCPath MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM
45. Siri Martinsen, veterinarian, Director of NOAH, NORWAY
46. Dr. Steven P. McCulloch BVSc BA PhD FHEA DipECAWBM (AWSEL) MRCVSEBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law, Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Studies, University of Winchester, UNITED KINGDOM
47. Dr. Alan McElligott, Associate Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, City University of Hong Kong, HONG KONG
48. Dr Dorothy McKeegan, BVA Animal Welfare Foundation Senior Lecturer, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UNITED KINGDOM
49. Dr Scott Miller BVSc MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon, UNITED KINGDOM
50. Dr. Hanns Moshammer, Associate Professor of Environmental Health at the Medical University of Vienna, AUSTRIA
51. Dr Elizabeth Mullineaux MRCVS, RCVS Specialist in Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian), UNITED KINGDOM
52. Elena Nalon, DVM, PhD, Senior Veterinary Adviser Farmed Animals, Eurogroup for Animals, BELGIUM
53. Prof Christine Nicol, MA, DPhil (Oxon), Professor of Animal Welfare at Royal Veterinary College, UNITED KINGDOM
54. Dr Sarah Otto, Killam University Professor, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, CANADA
55. Dr Romain Pizzi BVSc MSc PhD DZooMed DipECZM MACVS(Surg) FRES FRSB FRGS FRCVS, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons recognised specialist in Zoo & Wildlife Medicine and European recognised specialist in Zoological Medicine (Zoo Health Management), UNITED KINGDOM
56. Robert H. Poppenga, DVM, PhD, DABVT, Head of Toxicology Section, California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California at Davis, UNITED STATES
57. Lucy Roots BSc BVSc MRCVS PGcert Vet Ed, UNITED KINGDOM
58. Joanne M. Santini, Professor of Microbiology, Structural & Molecular Biology, Division of Biosciences, University College London, UNITED KINGDOM
59. Dr Kristin Opdal Seljetun, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Senior Advisor, Norwegian Poisons Information Center, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, NORWAY
60. Alick Simmons, BVMS, MSc, MRCVS, former UK Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, UNITED KINGDOM
61. Christian Sonne, Wildlife Research Veterinarian, DVM, PhD, DScVetMed, Dipl. ECZM-EBVS,Roskilde, DENMARK
62. Dr Mark Stidworthy MA VetMB PhD FRCPath MRCVS, RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Pathology (Zoo and Wildlife), Principal Veterinary Pathologist, International Zoo Veterinary Group, UNITED KINGDOM
63. Samantha Taylor BVetMed (Hons) CertSAM DipECVIM-CA MRCVS, UNITED KINGDOM
64. Steve Unwin SFHEA Dipl ECZM MRSB MRCVS, Lecturer in Biosystems and Environmental Change, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, UNITED KINGDOM
65. Dr Cock van Oosterhout, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UNITED KINGDOM
66. Dr Clifford Warwick, PGDip(MedSci) PhD CBiol CSci EurProBiol FRSB, Biologist and Medical Scientist, UNITED KINGDOM
67. Dr. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc Guelph; Dipl ACVIM, Director, University of Guelph Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, CANADA
** UPDATE ** Israel Bans Fur – the first country to do so
CDC: “Investigations found that mink from a Michigan farm and a small number of people were infected with SARS-CoV-2 that contained unique mink-related mutations (changes in the virus’s genetic material). This suggests mink to human spread might have occurred. The animals on the farm have since tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 twice, and the infected people have since recovered.
Finding these mutations in mink on the Michigan farm is not unexpected because they have been seen before in mink from farms in the Netherlands and Denmark and also in people linked to mink farms worldwide. Currently there is limited information available about the genetics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has infected people living in the communities near the mink farm. Thus, it is difficult to know with certainty whether the mink-related virus mutations originated in people or in mink on the farm.
To confirm the spread of SARS-CoV-2 from mink to people, public health officials would need more information on the epidemiology and genetics of the virus in mink, mink farm workers, and the community around mink farms. These results highlight the importance of routinely studying the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 in susceptible animal populations like mink, as well as in people.
CDC is aware of reports of a strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus in mink in Denmark that was also present in the local human population. This strain, called “Cluster 5,” had not been seen before and was made up of five mutations. The World Health Organization (WHO)external icon reported that as of November 2020, the Cluster 5 variant was no longer circulating in Denmark. Of mink and human samples tested so far in the United States, none have contained all the mutations that make up the Cluster 5 strain.”
CDC: COVID-19 and Animals, Mar. 25, 2021
In more mink related coronavirus news, Oregon is to require all mink to be vaccinated against sars-cov-2 , Russia has produced its own vaccine for animals and Greece is trying to keep mink infections down with testing and vaccines for workers
Image By Dzīvnieku brīvība – Baltic Devon Mink 05, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87445681
We now report the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in 2 of 13 feral dark brown American mink (Neovison vison) trapped in the Valencian Community (Eastern Spain), during an invasive species trapping campaign. They were trapped in riverbeds in sparsely inhabited rural areas known to harbor self-sustained feral mink populations. The closest fur farm is about 20 km away. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by two-step RT-PCR in these animals’ mesenteric lymph nodes and was confirmed by sequencing a 397-nucleotide amplified region of the S gene, yielding identical sequences in both animals. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was run on this sequence, which was found to correspond to the consensus SARS-CoV-2 sequence from Wuhan. Our findings appear to represent the first example of SARS-CoV-2 acquired in the wild by feral mink in self-sustained populations.