Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy has responded to news that Irish mink farms are going to be closed.
The development of a new mutant strain of Covid in mink fur farms in Denmark led to calls for fast-tracking the closure of similar farms in Ireland.
Earlier in the week Veterinary Ireland urged the closure of Irish mink fur farms and speaking in the Dail yesterday Paul Murphy echoed the call for them to be closed rapidly.
Now the Department of Agriculture has informed the owners of three mink farms in Ireland that their mink are to be culled to halt the potential spread of a mutated form of the Covid-19.
Public health authorities globally are concerned that the variant form could prove more resistant to antibodies and say if the mutated virus was to spread it could severely impact on the effectiveness of vaccines.
“The government has been promising for a long time now to shut these fur farms, after the Solidarity – People Before Profit Bill introduced last year,” Deputy Murphy said.
“This is urgent now that we see have an outbreak of Covid among mink across the globe, and the new mutant Covid strain among mink in Denmark.
“Mink fur farms are an ideal breeding ground for this virus, and the Danish health authorities have warned mutations of the virus among mink could undermine the effectiveness of future vaccines too.
“Fur-farming is an extremely cruel and outdated practice, and now we see the major health risks it poses too.
“For months now the government have been fobbing off TDs with promises that a ban was coming, we cannot afford any more delays.
“The government must intervene now to shut the fur farms now and ban them for good.”