Finland ordered the killing of all fur animals in farms where Avian flu has been detected to avoid the spreading of the virus to humans.
(Bloomberg) — Finland ordered the killing of all fur animals in farms where Avian flu has been detected to avoid the spreading of the virus to humans.
The Finnish Food Authority said all the foxes and raccoons will need to be culled from the farms where the bird flu has been detected, according to a statement on Wednesday. The decision, which includes a total of about 115,000 animals, follows an earlier ruling to kill about 135,000 fur animals, which included minks and foxes.
The move harks back to Nordic peer Denmark’s decision to kill 17 million mink in November 2020 after health authorities warned that Covid-19 could mutate in the animals and potentially hurt global vaccine efforts. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was later reprimanded for the cabinet’s illegal order.
With the extended slaughter of the animals, the Finnish authorities aim to contain the spreading of the virus and protect people’s health, the authority said. It has found indications that the virus has also spread between fur animals and not only from birds to the animals.
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“The longer viruses can circulate in mammals, the greater the risk of mutations that can cause infections in humans as well,“ the authority warned, adding that “worrying mutations” that may facilitate the transmission of the virus to mammals have been identified.
Asian flu infections have been confirmed so far in 26 of the Nordic country’s approximately 400 fur farms. In August, Finnish institute for health and welfare called for stricter measures to protect the farms from the spreading of the virus, warning that the Avian influenza poses a risk to public health and is a matter of wider than national significance.
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