Denmark coronavirus crisis as ‘zombie mink’ may have contaminated groundwater – report

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Back in November, the Danish government ordered a cull of around 17 million mink after authorities found a mutated strain of the coronavirus on Danish farms.

Due to the mass number of decomposing animals, authorities were forced to bury some of the mink in pits in a military area under two metres of soil.

However, the government has said it wanted to dig up the mink again after some resurfaced from the mass graves.

But a government report – by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency – found groundwater in the area may already have become contaminated and urged authorities to take swift action.

The agency is currently undertaking additional exams to assess the environmental impact of the graves.

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It said this week they expect the results to be published early next year.

Before interring the dead mink, the government said the burials would not pose a risk to drinking water or protected areas.

Local newspapers have referred to the animals as “zombie mink”.

In November, Thomas Kristensen, a press officer with Denmark’s National Police, which is responsible for the mink burials, said: “It is an extraordinary situation.

“In connection with the decay, gases form, which cause the whole to expand a little, and then in the worst case they get pushed out of the ground.”

The environment ministry said the minks’ return from the grave was a “temporary problem tied to the animals’ decaying process”.

Karsten Dahl Schmidt, the nearest neighbour to the grave, warned the liquids from the rotting bodies would seep into the nearby Boutrup Lake.

He told DR: “I dream that everything gets put back to how it was before.

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“You cannot just do nothing here.

“You have to dig the minks back up and send them for incineration.”

The initial cull sparked national outrage with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen facing calls to rising following the resignation of agriculture minister Mogens Jensen.

Jakob Ellen-Jensen, Opposition leader of The Liberal Party, said: “I want the prime minister to do the same.

“I want the prime minister to acknowledge that when she makes a mistake, it’s her a responsibility.”

Kristian Thulesen Dahl, head of populist Danish People’s Party, added: “Mogens Jensen shouldn’t take all the heat for a decision that was actually made in the Prime Minister’s office.

“So Mette Frederiksen must take responsibility.”

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