Denmark has started digging up millions of culled mink that were buried six months ago, amid fears the carcasses could contaminate nearby drinking water.

The Danish Government burned most of the 17 million mink in incinerators in October and November last year, after it was discovered there had been a coronavirus outbreak among the country’s 200 farms and this could cause a mutated strain among humans.

But limited capacity in the incinerators meant authorities had to bury around four million of the carcasses on military grounds in the west.

Workers with culled minks on November 14, 2020 in Jyllinge, Denmark. (Ole Jensen/Getty)

The burial site became a concern when gases from the mink bodies started to release into the sandy soil, causing them to resurface in what some described as something out of a zombie film.

“As the bodies decay, gases can be formed,” police spokesperson Thomas Kristensen told national broadcaster DR at the time.

“This causes the whole thing to expand a little.

“In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground.”

The mink were buried in mass graves under a metre of soil, but the dirt in the region is too light to contain the rotting bodies.

Authorities have now started digging the buried mink up, with plans to move the tonnes of bodies into 13 incinerators by mid-July.

Denmark’s former agriculture minister stepped down from his role after admitting there was no legal basis to order healthy mink to be killed, Reuters reported.

The bodies of thousands of dead mink are emerging from mass graves in Denmark. (AP)

New agriculture minister Rasmus Prehn told local media this month’s excavation was embarrassing as he witnessed the start of the process last week.

Mink are small mammals similar to weasels and ferrets, which are farmed for their especially soft and luxuriant fur.

Thousands of mink across Denmark were culled after the animals were linked to human transmission of COVID-19. (AP)

Kopenhagen Fur, a cooperative of 1500 Danish breeders, accounts for 40 per cent of the global mink production.

Most of its exports go to China and Hong Kong.

The coronavirus pandemic could “threaten the entire profession”, Tage Pedersen, chairman of the Danish Fur Breeders Association, said.

“All breeders are right now in a huge amount of uncertainty and frustration over this ‘meteor’ that has fallen on our heads.”



This content first appear on 9news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.