Mink and COVID-19: Italy suspends mink breeding in fur farms for the whole 2021!


Mink and COVID-19: Italy suspends mink breeding in fur farms for the whole 2021!

2 March 2021
On 26 February, the Italian Minister of Health Roberto Speranza extended the suspension of the mink breeding activity to the whole of 2021. The previously adopted temporary suspension would have expired on 28 February, but our Italian member organisation LAV successfully called for its extension.

A number of Member States have already suspended mink breeding as a precautionary approach during 2021, due to the risks of continued outbreaks and transmission of Covid-19. The rapid and uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2 among mink farms has not been halted by the implementation of biosecurity measures, and the animals have become the source of viral transmission to people; not only those who work on fur farms occupationally, but also the broader human community. Even more alarmingly, the uncontrolled spread in mink also increased the opportunity for the virus to evolve and develop potentially dangerous mutations. 

For these reasons and for the unacceptable animal welfare outcomes in fur farms, Eurogroup for Animals and the Fur Free Alliance have urged the European Commission and Member States to adopt precautionary emergency measures and urgently suspend all mink farming including breeding.  In addition, several scientists from the fields of virology, infectious diseases, microbiology, environmental health and veterinary medicine have recommended the European Commission to suspend mink farming as a proportionate response to the risk.


As the breeding season approaches, the number of animals in the mink farms will have multiplied by May, when thousands of susceptible mink kits will have been  born on the farms. Member States and the EU should act urgently.