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SARS-CoV-2 in mink: recommendations to improve monitoring

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mink in a cage

Early detection of SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) should be a priority objective for monitoring activities at mink farms in the European Union, a new report recommends.

The report, compiled by EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), proposes options for monitoring strategies that will help to prevent and control spread of the disease. 

It concludes that all mink farms should be considered at risk from SARS-CoV-2 and that monitoring should include active measures such as testing of animals and staff in addition to passive surveillance by farmers and veterinarians.

The report was requested by the European Commission following outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in mink farms across Europe in 2020.

As of January 2021, the virus has been detected at 400 mink farms in eight countries in the EU/EEA – 290 in Denmark, 69 in the Netherlands, 21 in Greece, 13 in Sweden, three in Spain, two in Lithuania and one each in France and Italy.

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