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Billions in Play: No Mink Breeders Have Yet Sought to Reopen

So far, there is no indication that mink breeding will become relevant in Denmark again. Breeding mink is temporarily banned and has been since millions of mink were slaughtered in the winter of 2020 for fear of coronavirus mutation.

It should be possible from next year, but no mink breeders have applied for support for it. The violent shutdown of the entire profession a year and a half ago means that it is almost impossible to start again.

We had the world’s best mink in Denmark, and it has taken generations to get far ahead of the rest of the world. When you are shut down for a minimum of two years, it is even harder to start up again, says Tage Pedersen, chairman of the mink breeders.

Every Fourth Has Moved on

The total price for the mink compensation can be up to 19 billion kroner. On Thursday, the mink breeders had a month where they could seek compensation for a permanent shutdown or a hibernation scheme where they could re-emerge in the future.

So far, 261 mink companies have applied for permanent closure out of the total of 1060 farms that were in Denmark in 2019. This corresponds to approximately every fourth.

No one has applied for hibernation compensation, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration informs Ritzau. They have until April 1 to apply.

In addition to the desire to stop, it can be due to several things. Such as that they first have to get their papers in order or that they wait to see what other holdings are worth when the appraisers’ assessments come after March.

Tage Pedersen, However, Doubts the Latter

There will be no valuation in March. They will start looking at it by March, but they will not be finished until the summer, says Tage Pedersen.

Appraisers will look, for example, at how many animals the farms had, the typical price of their skins, and the condition of buildings and machinery. Most growers are expected to receive greater compensation than they owe.

Starting from Zero

However, Tage Pedersen does not believe that more than one or two handfuls will apply to put the farm to sleep to reopen later. He does not want to himself and does not yet know what to do instead.

You have to buy new breeding animals that are far of poorer quality than the ones we had, and the whole follow-up industry is gone. He says it will be like being a pioneer again if you have to start.

Since it became illegal last year, the agency has encountered two illegal mink herds totaling 350 animals. It can be punished with a fine or imprisonment for up to six months.

The Statens Serum Institut (SSI) continues to assess that keeping mink in Denmark can lead to health risks of “unknown size.”

Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries Rasmus Prehn (S) has stated that during the spring of 2022, it will be assessed whether mink breeding can be resumed in 2023.

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