A coronavirus outbreak has killed thousands of minks in Utah fur farms over a ten-day window beginning in late September, forcing cautionary quarantines at nine farms in the state.
The virus was likely transferred from workers to the animals, though there are no signs that the minks have infected any humans, according to Dr. Dean Taylor, the state veterinarian investigating the outbreak.
“We genuinely don’t feel like there is much of a risk going from the mink to the people,” Taylor told the Associated Press.
As many as 8,000 minks have perished during the outbreak. Fur from the dead infected minks is still used commercially. The pelts are processed to remove the virus before being used for coats or other clothing accessories, according to the Fur Commission USA, a trade group.
No animals have been euthanized over their infections, according to Taylor.
It was known earlier on in the pandemic that mink are vulnerable to the disease after mink