With Deadly Viruses Linked to Captive Wildlife, PETA Germany Stresses the Need for Speedy Closure of Lithuania’s Remaining Mink Farms
Following reports that minks have tested positive for COVID-19 on several fur farms in the Netherlands, the US, Denmark, and Spain, PETA Germany sent a letter to Andrius Palionis, the Lithuanian minister of agriculture. In the letter, the animal rights organisation urges the minister to implement a ban on fur farming. A bill was already introduced by members of the Parliament in 2018. Currently, about 2 million animals are suffering on fur farms in Lithuania.
PETA points out that SARS and the novel coronavirus first infected humans who came into close contact with captive wildlife at live-animal markets – which represent a public health risk similar to that posed by fur farms, where minks are confined to cramped wire cages and diseases can easily spread. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.
“We are in the middle of a crisis stemming from the trade in wildlife. The time for relegating fur farms to the history books by taking decisive action is now”, says Johanna Fuoß, PETA’s specialist on animals in the clothing industry. “Filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured minks are breeding grounds for zoonotic diseases.”
On fur farms, minks are imprisoned in barren cages for their entire lives. Unable to engage in natural behaviour, they often go mad from the confinement, and some even chew on their own limbs or tails as a result of the constant psychological and physical torment. They’re killed in gruesome ways, such as by poisoning, gassing, drowning, or even being skinned alive.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.
PETA’s letter to the Lithuanian minister of agriculture is available here.