Members of parliament from the opposition in Denmark have called on the government to exhume the remains of millions of mink animals that were buried in mass graves amid fears of the spread of Covid-19 disease.
The two burial sites on “Gotland” are very controversial – one near a bathing lake and the other not far from a source of drinking water.
The discovery of a mutated form of the virus had caused the slaughter of about 17 million mink animals, which led to the destruction of the Danish fur industry – the largest in the European Union.
The government has admitted that the slaughter process has been poorly handled, but politicians are now looking at how best to get rid of the more than 10,000 tons of dead mink animals.
The issue of mass burial became even more terrifying when there were reports of mink bodies emerging on the surface of the soil due to the influence of nitrogen and phosphorus gases resulting from the decomposition of the bodies.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen cried on state television while visiting a mink farm on Thursday.
“We have two generations of skilled mink farmers, father and son, whose life work was destroyed in a very short time, and that this was emotionally charged for them. Sorry. Me too,” she said, letting go of her tears.
The Danish TV 2 channel quoted legal experts as saying that the government proceeded with the implementation of the mass burial without obtaining an assessment of the impact on the environment.
The opposition Liberal Party (Fenestry) says that buried minks should be exhumed and loaded into manure containers, a method the party claims would be safer to dispose of these carcasses.
Environment Minister Lea Wermelin spoke to Parliament on Friday, at a crisis session held to discuss the problem of buried mink.
The minister admitted that mass burial was not the best method, cremation would have been better, but the spread of Covid-19 disease in mink farms made disposal of them an urgent matter, and there was no other quick way to deal with such a quantity of dead animals.
The uproar over the government’s swift action forced Agriculture Minister Morgans Jensen to resign.
“This is a case full of errors and irregularities,” said the liberal spokesman on environmental issues, “Thomas Danielsen” on Danish television.
Sain Monk, a member of parliament for the Socialist People’s Party, described buried mink animals as a “time environmental bomb” and said that “mink animals must be removed.”
Reuters news agency reported that the head of the mink breeders’ association, Tej Pedersen, said the slaughter process was doomed to death for Danish fur producers – a sector that employs about 6,000 people and is valued at $ 800 million annually in exported hides.
It is noteworthy that Denmark has about 1,100 mink farms – and so far no decision has been taken on any compensation agreement.