UARC recently obtained a video clip from the Fur Commission USA’s recent annual meeting, which was held via Zoom due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This video clip reveals that the fur industry and representatives of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) have been misleading the public and downplaying the threat of mink farms in Utah facilitating further spread of COVID-19 in our community.
In the clip, Dr. John Easley, DVM, and Director of Research for Fur Commission USA, admits that emerging research shows that not only can the virus that causes COVID-19 circulate among mink on a fur farm, it can mutate in the mink, and then be transmitted to people who come into contact with the mink. This mutated virus then has the potential to continue spreading via human-to-human transmission. This startling discovery means that every single one of the 38 remaining mink farms in Utah is a potential reservoir of coronavirus, which will continually threaten “spilling over” into human populations in these communities.
Our supporters and members may recall that in August we wrote to the Governor and urged him to shut down Utah mink farms. At that time, there were only two fur farms with active COVID outbreaks. Now, there are at least nine. The problem is only worsening.
UARC has again written to the governor urging him to implement a three-step plan to contain the threat of COVID-19 on Utah mink farms:
- End the mink farming industry in Utah by ordering an end to all breeding activities on these facilities.
- Require mandatory COVID-19 testing of both animals and workers on these facilities.
- Be more transparent regarding which fur farms have known COVID outbreaks.
It is long past time for this cruel and vile industry in Utah, which is exempt from our state’s cruelty-to-animals law, to be shut down. It is inexcusable that countless mink are confined to tiny cages and gassed only so a handful of people can make money selling their skins to wealthy consumers in China, while residents in Utah are the ones stuck with the threat of an infectious disease in their communities.
UARC intends to fight for greater transparency and for the closure of Utah’s cruel and dangerous mink farming industry. You can join our efforts by demanding the Governor Herbert take action by clicking here. Stay tuned for other opportunities where you can make your voice heard on this important issue.