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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 January 2021

CORONAVIRUS

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.

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, right,  was teary after visiting mink breeder Peter Hindbo' farm. EPA
Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, right,  was teary after visiting mink breeder Peter Hindbo' farm. EPA

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.

Dead mink were tipped into trenches at a military area in western Denmark. AFP 
Dead mink were tipped into trenches at a military area in western Denmark. AFP 

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.

Updated: November 28, 2020 09:29 AM

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