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MINKS

Protestors damage Danish PM’s car during hearing

Police escorted Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s car away from the court in Frederiksberg on Thursday after demonstrators damaged a rear light and encircled the vehicle.

Danish police and protestors at Frederiksberg court on Thursday.
Danish police and protestors at Frederiksberg court on Thursday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Frederiksen, who was at the court to meet a commission into her government’s decision last year to cull fur farm mink, was not in the car at the time of the incident.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s prime minister faces inquiry over decision to cull minks

Demonstrators surrounded the car when it began to move, resulting in police deciding to shield it.

Copenhagen Police told news wire Ritzau that “in connection with the car being moved, it was encircled by demonstrators”.

“In connection with this, a rear light was smashed on the car. It has now been driven away from the location. We are looking further into what happened,” police added.

Two people were arrested as a result of disturbances related to the demonstrations, Copenhagen Police confirmed to Ritzau later on Thursday.

One of the individuals was arrested for breaching laws against violent or threatening behaviour towards service personnel such as police officers, and the other for making offensive remarks.

Frederiksen met a sizeable gathering of demonstrators when she arrived at the court building in Frederiksberg shortly before 9am on Thursday.

One sign held by protestors called for her to be put in prison while also referring to text messages relating to the mink decision that were automatically deleted from the prime minister’s telephone.

Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Another sign read “Ignorance does not relieve you of responsibility”, referring to the fact the government has argued it did not know the order to cull mink had no legal basis at the time it was issued.

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Frederiksen defended the decision to cull the minks on Thursday as she arrived at the court building.

“I think, generally speaking, that we unfortunately had to make a decision one year ago to cull all mink. It was the right decision. I will now go in and answer the questions that are asked,” she said.

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MINKS

Danish health agency says mink farming poses low Covid-19 risk

A resumption of Denmark's banned mink farming poses little risk of Covid virus variants emerging, the country's public health institute said Tuesday in a report that could lead to the industry's revival.

Danish health agency says mink farming poses low Covid-19 risk

Denmark was the world’s leading exporter of mink fur until it decided in November 2020 to cull all its 15-17 million minks, after studies suggested that a variant found in some of the animals could jeopardise the effectiveness of future vaccines.

Prior to the cull, Denmark was also the world’s second-largest producer of mink fur after China.

The Scandinavian country later banned the breeding of the mammals until the end of 2022, in a blow to the industry.

The Danish public health institute SSI said in its report the risk was low that mink farming would lead to the emergence of variants of concern.

“Overall, the probability can be characterised as low, and is assumed to be significantly less than the probability that these will arise in a world population of 7.9 billion people”, it said.

The report is expected to play a part in the government’s decision later this year on whether to extend or end the ban.

According to Danish news agency Ritzau, 1,243 mink farmers have applied for state compensation for shutting down their farms.

Meanwhile only 15 have applied for compensation for dormant farms, suggesting that most mink farmers do not plan to resume even if the ban is lifted.

The Danish cull led to a political fiasco, when it quickly emerged — after the cull was already underway — that the government’s order had no legal basis, leading to the resignation of the agriculture minister, Mogens Jensen.

An agreement was reached retroactively to make the government’s decision legal, and the nationwide cull continued uninterrupted.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen later testified before a special parliamentary commission that she did not know the decision lacked legal basis.

READ ALSO: One percent of mink breeders apply for money to resume business

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