Danes Start Digging Up Dead Mink to Stem Contamination Risks

Millions of mink culled to stem a coronavirus mutation will soon be exhumed in Denmark as the government tries to prevent the dead bodies from contaminating the surrounding area.

Authorities are set to start on Thursday, according to state broadcaster DR. The process marks the latest grisly chapter in a controversial process that wiped out what had been the world’s biggest mink production.

The government’s eagerness last year to dispose of the animals quickly led to new problems. The mink were crowded into shallow graves too close to lakes and parks in northwestern Denmark and the rotting bodies now pose environmental contamination risks. Danish authorities will start with a test dig to get a sense of what state the corpses are in, and what sort of equipment they’ll need to finish the job.

Danes Start Digging Up Dead Mink to Stem Contamination Risks

Once unearthed, the carcasses will be sent for incineration at garbage treatment plants across Denmark. The process is expected to last until July, DR reported.

The administration of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was heavily criticized for its handling of the country’s mink farmers during the coronavirus pandemic, with both the industry and parliament condemning the decision to cull the entire population.

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