Animal advocates are calling for the ban on fur farming in the Netherlands to be brought forward following reports that minks on farms have tested positive for COVID-19.
The country, which is currently phasing out the farms, was set to implement a ban in 2024.
But now animal charity PETA has written to Carola Schouten, the Dutch agriculture minister, urging her to bring that date forward.
The coronavirus is zoonotic, meaning it spread from animals to people, with the most popular theory being that it orginated from a live animal market in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
According to PETA, fur farms ‘where minks are confined to cramped wire cages and diseases can easily spread’ present a similar threat.
The charity adds that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75 percent of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.
‘Breeding grounds for disease’
“Filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured minks are breeding grounds for disease,” PETA director of international programs, Mimi Bekhechi, said.
“In the face of a global crisis stemming from the wildlife trade, the Netherlands shouldn’t wait another four years to shut down its last remaining fur farms – it must take action now.”