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Rep. Mace on Passage of Amendment Banning Mink Farming

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Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) on Thursday released the following statement upon the passage of an amendment she led with Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn, that bans mink farming:

“One of the many lessons we learned at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is the real danger of animal to human transmission of disease. In fact, If COVID-19 could design its perfect habitat for mutation and transmission, it would closely resemble a mink farm, where thousands of mink are kept in small, often unsanitary, overcrowded cages, for days on end,”Rep. Mace said.“Today, through working together on both sides of the aisle, we have the chance to end the abusive and inhumane mink farming practice that puts Americans’ health at risk.”

Background: In North America and Europe, 6.1 million mink living on 450 farms became infected with SARS-CoV-2, with approximately 675,000 mink dying from the virus. In Europe, Canada, and the U.S., there have been 450 mink farms with outbreaks of this virus, spawning three variants. In addition to the mink farms in Denmark and France that spawned variants, a new variant also developed at a Michigan mink farm. It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of mink on American farms have had COVID-19 infections. In the United States, a Michigan mink fur farm spawned a variant. The pandemic that has affected mink has closely tracked the human pandemic.

The amendment forbids possession, sale, and trade in captive American mink (Neovison vison) or their parts. Mink farmers would be allowed to sell fur from their remaining animals but forbidden from additional breeding and production of the animals for fur. There are no restrictions on the trade of native wild mink, and zoos and research facilities are exempt.
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