Denmark Looking To Dig Up And Burn Millions Of Dead Minks

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 28 Nov 2020 15:58
Denmark Looking To Dig Up And Burn Millions Of Dead MinksPA Images

Denmark is now looking to dig up millions of minks it buried after a cull of the animals.

News of Denmark’s decision to cull millions of minks first surfaced earlier this month over concern of there being links between the animals and a coronavirus mutation risk.


According to officials, the minks showed a reduced sensitivity to COVID antibodies, sparking worries that if someone was to contract the virus via the animal, future vaccinations may not be as effective for them.

By November 10, two million minks had been killed – many of which had been buried in mass graves. The Danish government then ran into legal issues, with people questioning if the mass killing of the animals was necessary.

Mink farmPA Images

Since then, a court challenge to the order found that the decision had no legal basis, reported The Guardian. The country’s agriculture minister has now resigned.


Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, the leader of Denmark’s largest opposition party Venstre, said he had ‘massive doubts’ about the science behind the cull. He added, ‘At the same time the government is taking away the livelihood of a large number of people without actually having the legal rights to do so.’

There are now new concerns that the soil surrounding the deceased animals is being exposed to large quantities of phosphorus and nitrogen from the mink’s decomposition process.

PA Images

These gases are now pushing the carcasses to the surface because the graves had not been dug deep enough. As a consequence, the Danish government is now reportedly considering digging up the animals and cremating them instead.


According to The Guardian, as of yesterday, November 27, around 10 million of the animals had been killed.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has since apologised for her handling of the pandemic and for ordering the cull with no legal basis.

As per BBC News, she said:

Even if we were in a rush, it should have been completely clear to us that new legislation was required, and it was not. I apologise for that.

PA Images

She further apologised on Thursday, November 26, saying, ‘I don’t have any issues with apologising for the course of events, because mistakes have been made.’

Despite the mistakes they have made, the Danish government is now supposedly confident that the threat from minks has been ‘very likely extinguished’, as no new cases have been reported.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Animals, Denmark, News


The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    Denmark could dig up and cremate mink killed in Covid cull

  2. BBC

    Denmark mink cull: Government admits culling had no legal basis