Is COVID-19 Turning Denmark’s Mink Into Zombies?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
After it was discovered that mink infected with a mutated strain of COVID-19 can pass the virus on to humans, the government moved forward with a plan to cull millions of the animals. Now, the infected mink seem to be rising from the dead.
Between gasps of horror and disgust, many in West Jutland have called on the government to incinerate the mink instead of burying them.
Lest Danes believe COVID-19 is actually turning mink into zombies, the Danish police insist that there is a simple scientific answer to assuage any fears, The Guardian reports.
Police spokesman Thomas Kristensen, in an interview with a Danish news channel, said the mink are surfacing as gases build up in the dead and decaying bodies.
“In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground,” Kristensen said. “This is a natural process,” Kristensen said. “Unfortunately, one meter of soil is not just one meter of soil –it depends on what type of soil it is. The problem is that the sandy soil in West Jutland is too light. So we have had to lay more soil on top.”
Because of the virulent COVID-19 mutation spreading through the country’s mink farms, the Danish government has culled 2 million of mink, with plans to kill 15 million more. The dead animals were buried just a few feet underground, which made it easier for their bodies to become exposed as gasses built up.
The new plan is to bury the mink 6 feet underground and to monitor the burial site around the clock until a fence can be installed.
Whether or not this keeps the mink from rising from the dead, some Danes are more concerned with the environmental impacts of such methods. Letting millions of dead bodies decay near major water sources, for example, could cause another public health issue.
“It seems like no one really knows the consequences of this,” Susan Münster of the Danish water board told Jyllands Posten. “I must confess I find it worrying.”
According to USA Today, Denmark produces 40% of the world’s mink fur, much of it going to high-fashion design houses, though fur has largely fallen out of favor in recent decades.