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Four million mink will be dug up from two burial sites, by a bathing lake and by a source of drinking water. Images of bodies, buried as part of the country’s coronavirus cull, went viral on Twitter after they filled with gas and rose to the surface in a natural phenomenon.
This prompted a reburial effort by police – but they will now be burnt after residents complained about potential health and environmental risks.
The nation had roughly 15 million mink before a cull was ordered last month following outbreaks of Covid-19 at various farms.
A Government plan to dig up the mink gained support on Sunday, the ministry of food and agriculture said.
Work to dispose of the bodies will commence in May when there is no longer a coronavirus contamination risk.
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The ministry, as reported by NDTV, said in a statement: “Once the mink are no longer contaminated with Covid-19, they will be transported to an incineration facility, where they’ll be burned as commercial waste.
“This way, we avoid the mink being treated as dangerous biological waste, a solution that’s never been used before.”
Denmark has temporarily banned mink breeding until 2022.
It is the world’s biggest mink producer, supplying fur to the fashion industry.
Speaking to Reuters, Kare Molbak, director at the State Serum Institute, said: “The worst case scenario is a new pandemic, starting all over again out of Denmark.”
Thomas Kristensen, a national police spokesman, told state broadcaster DR of the need for a reburial effort last month.
Officers in the West Jutland region of Denmark concealed the bodies, which were in a three foot pit, with dirt.
He said: “As the bodies decay, gases can be formed.
“This causes the whole thing to expand a little. In this way, in the worst cases, the mink gets pushed out of the ground.”
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Social media users then joked about a “zombie mutant killer mink” uprising.
One user asked: “Are we ending 2020 on a mink zombie apocalypse?”
A second wrote: “2020, the year of the zombie mutant killer mink.”
A third said: “Run… The zombie mink are coming.”
The Danish Government has also admitted there was no legal basis for the mass cull.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told parliament last month: “Even if we were in a rush, it should have been completely clear to us that new legislation was required, and it was not. I apologise for that.”
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