PETA on mink cull: ‘The end of fur farming in Ireland has arrived not a day too soon’

Following news of the recommendation made to cull mink on Irish farms amid concerns around a mutated coronavirus strain discovered on Danish mink farms, PETA has said that “the end of fur farming has arrived not a day too soon”.

It was revealed yesterday (Thursday, November 19) that the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohon contacted the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to recommend the cull.

Elisa Allen, director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), described fur farming as “a business that shames us with its cruelty to animals”. She said fur fell out of fashion “long ago”.

“It’s because fur farms are packed with sick, stressed, suffering animals that they have now been identified as SARS-CoV-2 hotspots responsible for a mutation of the virus that threatens the efficacy of any vaccine,” she alleged.

“According to reports, this generation of minks will be the last to suffer and be killed on Irish fur farms for a frivolous fashion that no one wants or needs – and so, we’re breaking open the Guinness at PETA.”

Department to ‘consider next steps’ after recommendation

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has said it is engaging with Irish mink farmers to “consider the next steps” following the recommendation to cull all farmed mink in Ireland.

In a statement yesterday, a spokesperson for the department said:

“The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has been working closely with the public health authorities as well as with the operators of mink farms in Ireland to address any potential risks arising as a result of Covid-19.

“Mink farmers continue to operate in full compliance with all legislative and animal welfare requirements and have co-operated fully with these efforts. Testing of the mink herd in Ireland detected no positive results to Covid-19 to date.

The Department of Health has indicated that the continued farming of mink represents an ongoing risk of additional mink-adapted SARS-CoV-2 variants emerging and, therefore, it has recommended that farmed mink in Ireland should be culled to minimise or eliminate this risk.

“The Department of Agriculture continues to engage with the mink farmers to consider the next steps,” the department spokesperson said.

Currently, there are three large mink farms operating in Laois, Donegal and Kerry, which produce approximately 110,000 pelts per annum.