Amid fears of COVID-19, Denmark has made a big announcement that it will cull up to 17 million of its mink.
The European country's Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, said on Wednesday that the minks had to be culled due to a version of the coronavirus having muted from them, which can spread onto humans, per the BBC.
The news has come as a surprise, but all precautions to prevent further COVID-19 issues have to be taken, says the country.
Denmark is the world's largest producer of mink fur, so culling up to 17 million of its mink is big news. The news is spreading fast and many are sharing what they know on Reddit.
The culling has yet to happen, but the BBC reports that police said it has to happen as soon as possible.
The hope is to stop any further issues with COVID-19 as soon as possible. COVID-19 cases have been rising in mink farms in Denmark, as well as other regions in Europe, and it's believed that the coronavirus strain that's been spreading is a new one, found on these farms, per Reuters.
Given how quickly the virus has been spreading, and with a number of vaccines underway, the plan is to stop any of these new strains from spreading. It would be disastrous if a vaccine were to be produced but a new strain of the virus impeded it from functioning properly.
As per Frederiksen, the mutated virus found on mink farms has been found to weaken the body's antibody capabilities, which could render the upcoming vaccines ineffective.
"We have a great responsibility towards our own population, but with the mutation that has now been found, we have an even greater responsibility for the rest of the world as well," Frederiksen said at a news conference.
The 17 million minks in Denmark span across 207 farms, which also comprise 1,137 mink herds, and their culling will be a monumental task.