Oregon requiring ranchers to vaccinate mink against COVID

Coronavirus

Oregon has 11 permitted mink farms

Mink look out from their cage at the farm of Henrik Nordgaard Hansen and Ann-Mona Kulsoe Larsen, who have to kill off their herd which consists of 3000 mother mink and their cubs on their farm near Naestved, Denmark. Denmark announced special restrictions for more than 280,000 people in the country’s northwest after a mutated version of the new coronavirus linked to mink farms was found in humans. (Photo by MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Agriculture has filed a temporary emergency rule requiring all mink ranchers to vaccinate their animals against COVID-19.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that state Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz said officials are looking to stop the virus from mutating in mink and being passed back to humans. The state has given ranchers until the end of August to vaccinate.

A 2020 report by the Fur Commission USA counts 11 permitted mink farms in Oregon with an estimated 438,327 animals. That makes Oregon the fourth-largest pelt-producing state behind Wisconsin, Utah and Idaho.

Eight of Oregon’s mink farms are in Marion County, with two in Clatsop County and one in Linn County.

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