State’s Fur Farms Must Be Shut Down Because of Human Health Risk

New Mutated Coronavirus Strain From Minks Threatens Us All, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
November 11, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Minneapolis – PETA has rushed a letter to Gov. Tim Walz urging him to shut down the state’s mink farms following reports that Denmark has killed millions of minks and is seeking to kill all minks in the country—up to 17 million of them—after a new strain of coronavirus was discovered there: one that originated in human workers, was passed on to minks, mutated, and was then passed to workers again.

“Not only are filthy fur factory farms hideously cruel, they also pose a risk to human health—not just in Denmark, but worldwide,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on Minnesota and all other fur-farming states to protect all living beings by pulling the plug on these pandemic petri dishes.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, visit or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Gov. Walz follows.

November 11, 2020

The Honorable Tim Walz

Governor of Minnesota

Dear Gov. Walz:

I’m writing to you on behalf of our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including nearly 70,000 in Minnesota. In light of the news that Denmark has killed millions of minks and is seeking to kill all minks in the country—up to 17 million—after workers transmitted the novel coronavirus to the animals and then it mutated and the new strain went on to infect humans, we urge you to take action to shut down Minnesota’s fur farms immediately. This lifesaving move would help protect the health of workers and residents and spare countless animals agonizing and violent deaths.

Health experts state that the mutated virus found in minks and now in humans in Denmark could compromise the success of a vaccine, and countries are beginning to deny entry to Danish travelers. Fur farms in the U.S. have also detected infections—including in more than 10,000 minks in Utah and thousands more in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Even during the best of times, minks and other animals on fur factory farms are caged next to and even on top of each other. Their waste and blood easily contaminate adjacent cages. Animals resort to self-mutilation or cannibalism as a result of extreme stress, and infections, sores, and festering, open wounds invariably go untreated. Cramming sick and stressed animals together in unsanitary conditions creates the perfect breeding grounds for dangerous zoonotic diseases. When it comes to public-health risks, fur farms are akin to the live-animal markets and slaughterhouses recognized as the sources of COVID-19 and the swine flu pandemic of 2009 to 2010, respectively.

We urge you to follow the examples already set by France, the Netherlands, Poland, and other nations by shutting down the state’s risky and filthy fur farms now. Thank you.

Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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