Denmark wrestles with the zombie mink apocalypse

Mink culled due to Covid mutation have begun resurfacing

Denmark's government wants to dig up mink that were culled to prevent the spread of Covid-19 after some resurfaced from mass graves. The phenomenon has led to the unfortunate animals being given the macabre moniker: "zombie mink".

Denmark ordered all farmed mink to be culled earlier this month after finding that 12 people had been infected by a mutated strain of the virus.

The decision led to 17 million animals being destroyed and to the resignation last week of Food and Agriculture Minister Morgens Jensen, after it was determined that the order was illegal.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen broke down in tears on Thursday when she visited a mink farmer who had lost his herd following the cull.

epa08843798 Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, right, and mink breeder Peter Hindbo, left, walks in the empty farm during the Prime Ministers visit on a closed Mink Farm near Kolding, Denmark, 26 November 2020. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had tears in her eyes when she met the press after the visit.  EPA/Mads Nissen / POOL  DENMARK OUT

Dead mink were tipped into trenches at a military area in western Denmark and covered with two metres of soil.

But hundreds have begun resurfacing, pushed out of the ground by what authorities say is gas from their decomposition.

This aerial view taken on November 12, 2020 shows thousands of killed mink being buried at the Jydske Dragonregiment's training ground at Noerre Felding near Holstebro in Denmark, after Denmark, the world's biggest producer of mink fur, had announced it would cull all of the country's minks after a mutated version of the new coronavirus was detected at its mink farms and had spread to people.  After a hurried effort to cull all of the country's minks due to concerns of a mutated coronavirus, Denmark is now faced with a new horror as cadavers of minks are re-emerging from the earth due to putrefaction gases. - Denmark OUT
 / AFP / Ritzau Scanpix / Morten Stricker

Mr Jensen's replacement, Rasmus Prehn, said on Friday he supported the idea of digging up the animals and incinerating them.

He said he had asked the environmental protection agency look into whether it could be done, and parliament would be briefed on the issue on Monday.

The burial sites, guarded 24 hours a day to keep people and animals away, have drawn complaints from area residents about possible health risks.

Authorities say there is no risk of the graves spreading the coronavirus but locals worry about the risk of contaminated drinking water and a bathing lake fewer than 200 metres away.

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