HUNDREDS of mink are being burned ALIVE after surviving being gassed during a massive Europe-wide Covid cull, it’s feared.
The concerns come after a horrific video – which we have decided not to publish – showed one of the animals squirming inside a “kill box” ahead of being torched.
The shocking clip emerged in the wake of the Denmark’s decision to cull 15 million mink at more than 1,100 lucrative farms.
More than a quarter of a million Danes were forced into lockdown on Friday amid reports a mutant strain of mink-related coronavirus had been found in humans.
During the culling process, mink are usually moved from their cages into a box containing a gas which kills them in around 10 to 15 seconds.
The bodies are then gathered and crammed into so-called kill boxes which are sent for incineration.
However, a clip which went viral over the weekend proves the system is failing as some animals are surviving the gassing process which means they are then being incinerated alive.
It’s not known how many have died this way however it is feared as millions of mink are being culled – the figure could easily run into the hundreds.
In the video, a mink is seen squashed between the bodies of dozens of others and is seemingly trying to escape through a space in the steel container.
It was posted on Facebook by Danish mink farm worker Flemming Olesen – and has already been viewed tens of thousands of times in his home country.
He told TV2 Nord: “It’s awful. They (the minks) must die, but they must die in a proper way.
“It was very lively…and you could hear it screaming.”
The horrific video quickly came to the attention of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
Its head of veterinary medicine Flemming Kure Marker said: “These are some very unpleasant pictures that show a killing that has gone wrong.
“I can easily understand that it is hard for a breeder to see his herd being killed that way.”
And according to animal welfare campaigners the Danish incident was definitely not a one off.
Wendy Higgins of the Humane Society International (HSI) revealed gassing is “particularly cruel because mink are semi-aquatic animals able to hold their breath for long periods”.
That means that some of the animals survive being gassed.
“In the Netherlands there was video of mink culls that appears to show some mink surviving initial gassing and having to be gassed a second time,” she said.
And Daka, who is in charge of picking up the dead mink in Denmark, confirmed that the episode in question is not the only time a killing has gone wrong.
“We have in several cases observed live mink that have been sent for incineration,” revealed its marketing and PR manager Søren Mohr Jensen.
It’s now been reported gunmen are being hired in Denmark to shoot those mink who survive being gassed.
Six countries have now reported coronavirus outbreaks linked to mink farms after the mutant strain was found in Denmark.
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The US, Spain, Italy, Sweden and The Netherlands have also found Covid cases in minks, the World Health Organisation has confirmed.
The WHO said a Covid mutation spreading from mink to humans is a “concern”, but stressed it is still to early to know if this will impact a potential vaccine.
It added the virus variant in Denmark – known as ‘Cluster 5’ – has “moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralising antibodies”.