Country’s First COVID-19 Cases in Minks Prompt Call to Shut Down Local Fur Farms

PETA Points to Other Countries That Are Closing Fur Farms to Save Human Lives

For Immediate Release:
August 20, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Salt Lake City – Following reports that minks in the U.S. have tested positive for coronavirus on two local fur farms—which means that workers there are almost certainly infected, too—PETA has fired off a letter to the executive director of the Utah Department of Health urging him to shut down all of the state’s mink farms immediately, an action that’s been taken by foreign governments in the same situation.

PETA points out that the novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a live-animal market. Such markets represent a similar public health risk to that posed by fur farms, where minks are confined right next to each other in wire cages and disease can easily spread through inhalation, urine, excrement, pus, and blood. COVID-19 cases in minks have so far been documented at fur farms in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Spain, prompting authorities in those countries to close those farms down out of concern for the workers, their families, and others.

“Even without the current pandemic, filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed minks are petri dishes for pandemics,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is pointing out that the time to shut down these cruel and dangerous facilities was yesterday.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals. Minks on fur farms are suspected to be infected with a wide range of pathogens and diseases, including zoonotic ones like tularemia, LA-MRSA, hepatitis E, influenza, and salmonella.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind