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Denmark to cull 17 million mink after mutated COVID-19 strain found
Outbreaks of COVID-19 on mink farms have been reported across the world, resulting in millions of animals being culled.

Government announces action to curb rapid spread among mink farms

The Danish government has announced plans to cull all mink in the country – as many as 17 million - after a new mutated form of the COVID-19 virus was found on mink farms.

More than 50 million mink are bred each year for their fur. Denmark is one of the world's biggest producers of mink fur, with its main export markets in China and Hong Kong.

The country began culling mink earlier this year when COVID-19 was found on mink farms in Northern Jutland. The virus has since spread to 207 farms as of 4 November 2020.

According to Danish authorities, at least five cases of this new virus strain have now been found and 12 people have become infected.

A report from the Danish health authority Statens Serum Institut (SSI) found that these new COVID-19 variants show reduced sensitivity to antibodies and that this could potentially reduce the effectiveness of a future vaccine.

Speaking at a press conference, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described the situation as “very, very serious,” stating that police and military personnel will now be brought in to help cull all of the country's mink as quickly as possible.

The government admitted that this cull will effectively halt the Danish mink industry for a number of years, but a general ban will not be imposed on future mink farming in Denmark.

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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

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News Shorts
WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit