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No coronavirus detected in testing at Finnish mink farms

Finnish fur farms have taken extensive precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

Vit mink i bur.
The mink tested in Finland were Covid-free. Image: YLE/ Marcus Lillkvist

Following the discovery of a Covid-19 outbreak at Danish mink farms, the Finnish Food Authority found no indication of a similar outbreak in the country.

The Finnish authority tested mink at fur farms in ten areas in Western Finland, and all 30 test samples were negative. There are over 200 mink farms in the country.

The virus has been found to mutate quickly at fur farms, which could potentially hamper the effectiveness of a future coronavirus vaccine.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the spring, Finnish fur farms have implemented extensive hygiene and safety measures, which, according to the Finnish Food Authority, has kept the virus away from the farms.

The farms are also currently closed from visitors, and face masks are used when caring for the animals. These precautionary measures will continue until the pandemic is under control.

According to veterinarian Johanna Korpela from the Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association, the instructions have been well-received and strictly followed at fur farms.

"The union is aware of, and prepared for, the risk caused by foreign seasonal workers, for example," said Korpela. "Seasonal workers are subject to a two-week quarantine before they can start work."

All fur farms will now be subject to coronavirus monitoring by the Finnish Food Authority, and the precautionary measures will continue until next summer, at least.

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