Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (1023)

Matt Carthy

Question:

1023. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the advice he has received from the CMO indicating that a cull on farmed mink is no longer warranted on public health grounds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7065/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am aware of the comments from the Chief Medical Officer but have received no further advice from him on this matter.

Notwithstanding, my Department is in the process of drafting a Bill to provide for the introduction of a ban on fur farming which will include a prohibition on mink farming. The Bill will make it illegal for any new fur farms to be established and will provide for the closure of the small number of existing farm operations. This will fulfill the Programme for Government 2020 commitment regarding the prohibition of fur farming.

Following the outbreak of a new form of COVID-19 in mink in Denmark and the possibility of the mutation moving from mink to humans, my Department initiated surveillance testing of animals on the three mink farms. Results received to date have been negative. Similarly, the HSE has initiated surveillance of the workers on these premises.