Minks to be culled in Donegal, Laois and Kerry
The Department of Agriculture has informed the owners of three mink farms in Ireland that their mink are to be culled to halt the potential spread of a mutated form of the Covid-19.
Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan has said that Ireland's farmed mink population should be culled because of concerns in relation to a mutated form of Covid-19 detected in a mink farm in Denmark, according to RTÉ.
A "variant" of the virus was detected in mink on a farm in Denmark.
Public health authorities globally are concerned that the variant form could prove more resistant to antibodies and say if the mutated virus was to spread it could severely impact on the effectiveness of vaccines.
It is understood there are no immediate plans to carry out the proposed cull, but officials in the Department of Agriculture have informed farm owners in Laois, Kerry and Donegal that it will happen.
In a statement issued to RTÉ News the farmers say the decision is a "copycat version" of a similar move in Denmark.
The farmers come under the umbrella of Fur Europe.
The statement says: "While the Irish government is leaning on the recent Danish decision to cull all animals on these farms, it neglects to mention that the Danish decision was based on a rapid increase in the number of infected mink farms.
"This increase was triggered by many farms located in the same geographical area, but this is far from the case in Ireland, where there are just 3 farms in rural areas located in Kerry, Donegal and Laois."
Meanwhile, Denmark's health ministry has said that the mutated version of the new coronavirus detected in Danish minks has likely been eradicated.