Federal Agency Petitioned to Protect Public Health and Wildlife from Threats Posed by Mink Trade

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Washington DCThe Humane Institute, in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Animal Defenders International, Born Free USA, petition Today, the US Fish and Wildlife Service lists the US mink involved in the trade as a harmful species under Lacey’s Law. This designation will prohibit the import, transfer, and acquisition of live and dead mink from the United States, including parts containing fur. The harmful inclusion would reduce the significant risks posed by farmed mink to humans and wildlife and help combat the global health crisis of COVID-19.

Mink farms pack animals into crowded, filthy environments that create an ideal environment for pathogens to reproduce, mutate, and travel between and across species. Minks are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and outbreaks have been confirmed on at least 17 fur farms in several US states, with more than 20,000 mink reported to have died from the disease.

Worldwide, the spread of COVID-19 among farmed mink has been even more devastating. Outbreaks have occurred in more than 400 mink farms worldwide Europe And CanadaMillions of mink died from the disease or were killed to prevent its spread. Last week, British Columbia announce They will permanently close all mink farms in the county due to the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Minks can also transmit the virus to humans, and such cases have been confirmed in Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people on a farm in Michigan They had a mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 virus found in mink, indicating that mink-to-human transmission of the unique variants occurred within the United States. Threatening mink farms or infected wild mink populations to reservoirs of the virus could jeopardize epidemic containment efforts.

Furthermore, the trade in mink and its parts can cause serious environmental damage. Mink regularly escape from captivity and threaten the survival of wild mink populations due to the risk of disease transmission, hybridization, and competition for resources. In December, two separate incidents of mink in the wild tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Utah and Oregon. Other wildlife species are also susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and are therefore at risk if they come into contact with an infected captive mink or a runaway mink.

“Inconclusive evidence points to mink farms as incubators for SARS-CoV-2,” said Cathy Liss, president of the AWI. “The US Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to addressing the clear risks farmed mink poses to citizens and wildlife in order to effectively combat the current epidemic and mitigate future outbreaks.”

“It is almost impossible to think of a case in which the risks greatly outweigh the benefits compared to a case of mink fur cultivation,” said Sarah Amundson, chair of the Humane Society’s Legislative Trust. Mink farms are becoming a clear and present danger, and federal protection against a “harmful” designation is the fastest first step the federal government can take to ensure our safety and the safety of wildlife populations at risk from COVID-19. “

“COVID-19 has been detected in hundreds of mink farms across Europe and North America, and cases of people contracting the virus from farmed mink have been recorded,” said Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. . “It is time for the United States to take a stand against the dangers that mink farms pose by nature, and we implore the US Fish and Wildlife Service to think seriously about the risks that the fur industry poses to all of us.”

“ADI investigations They revealed the suffering of animals grown for fur. mink suffer Mentally and emotionally in fur farms. They live in barren cages, crowded next to each other In unhealthy conditions, their immune system is weakened due to stress. These factory farms could easily lead to new COVID-19 mutations.”

Angela Grimes, CEO of Born Free USA added: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact around the world and, after nearly two years, is still out of control. We have seen the evidence that minks can carry and transmit COVID and that continuing to be ignored This is irresponsible. Born Free USA is proud to stand with our partners in this petition and call on the US Fish and Wildlife Service to formally recognize the risk of zoonoses posed by farmed mink and act quickly to mitigate this risk.”

the animal welfare institute ( is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere – in the laboratory, on the farm, in the trade, at home, and in the wild. Follow us Facebook social networking siteAnd TwitterAnd And Instagram For updates and other important animal protection news.

Animal Defenders International Active around the world to end the suffering of animals in captivity and to protect wild animals and their environments. We investigate and produce evidence and reports, educate and raise awareness, and conduct large-scale confiscations of wild animals in captivity in collaboration with governments. Follow us Facebook social networking siteAnd Instagram, And Twitter Learn more about our campaigns and how you can help.

I was born free in the USA It works to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. We oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild. The primate sanctuary in Born Free USA is one of the largest in the United States and provides a permanent home for monkeys that have been rehomed from laboratories or rescued from zoos and private property. Visit to learn more.

The Humane Society’s Legislative Fund He works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues and to support humane candidates for office. Established in 2004, HSLF was incorporated under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code as a separate lobbying agency of the Humane Society of the United States. Visit us on hslf.orgRead our blog at and follow us on Facebook social networking site And tweetss.

Founded in 1954, and The Humane Society of the United States You fight the great battles to end the suffering of all the animals. Together with millions of supporters, we deal with puppy mills, factory farms, bounty hunting, animal testing and other cruel industries. With our affiliates, we rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year through the work of our animal rescue team and other practical animal care services. We fight all forms of cruelty to animals to realize the vision behind our name: Humane Society. Learn more about our work at Participate To the Kitty Block blog, human world. Follow HSUS Media Relations at Twitter. Read award winning all animals magazine. listening to Human Voices Podcast.

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