MADISON, WI (SPECTRUM NEWS) — More than 2,000 mink have died amid a coronavirus outbreak on a Taylor County mink farm according to a spokesperson with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Kevin Hoffman, a public information officer with the Division of Animal Health at DATCP, said nine mink have tested positive coronavirus on the farm. The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory both confirmed the positive test.
Hoffman said the outbreak is isolated to the farm and investigators do not believe there is a risk it has spread further. The agency believes a human spread the virus to mink, which then spread across the farm. Hoffman said there is not a risk of it spreading from animals to people.
“Going the other way, I know there's a lot of concern about animals then passing it to humans, there's really little evidence to suggest that that's something that's going to be a concern, there shouldn't be significant among anybody that they are going to contract it from an animal,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said the farm is working with DATCP, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health Services to dispose of the mink in a bio-secure way.
Hoffman said there is no evidence to suggest the coronavirus could have spread from the mink to wildlife in surrounding areas.
This is the second known outbreak of coronavirus on a mink farm in the U.S., with the first being in Utah earlier in the summer.
Wisconsin is the national leader in mink pelt production according to DATCP documents. The state produced more than 1 million pelts last year. https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents2/WASSReport20200924.pdf