Third mink farm in B.C. undergoes quarantine due to COVID-19

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      A Fraser Valley mink farm has been placed under quarantine due to COVID-19.

      The B.C. Agriculture Ministry issued a news release today (May 18) to announce that one mink at the farm tested positive on May 17.

      Two other mink are suspected positive—test results are being awaited for confirmation—and 20 mink have been tested for the virus. All other animals at the farm (which has approximately 25,000 animals) appear to be healthy and aren’t displaying any symptoms of illness.

      No workers have tested positive yet, and all have received or been offered their first vaccination dose.

      The source of the virus remains unknown and under investigation.

      During the outbreak, measures are in place to ensure food and care are provided for the mink while protecting worker and mink safety.   

      The B.C. government is not releasing the location of the farms due to the Animal Health Act, “which prohibits the disclosure of information that would identify a specific place where an animal is located”.

      This is the third mink farm in B.C. to have animals test positive during the pandemic.

      In the previous two cases, the strain detected in both humans and animals had been transmitted among people in the province, which indicated that transmission occurred from humans to animals.

      On December 6, Fraser Health declared an outbreak at an unnamed Fraser Valley mink farm after eight workers tested positive.

      The B.C. Agriculture Ministry stated on December 24 that three mink that died at a second farm were found to have tested positive for the virus.

      In response to the outbreaks, animal-rights activists, including Pamela Anderson, called upon the B.C. government to end and ban the operation of all fur farms in the province.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.