The covid-19 pandemic has shaken the whole world and affected all big or small industries. The fur industry is one of the biggest industries of Europe was in the news after Denmark reportedly killed a large number of minks, after finding their connection with coronavirus. All this has raised reasonable questions on the future of the fur industry suspecting that it would be changed forever, even after the pandemic ends.
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen revealed the plans to slaughter all minks in mink farms. Not to forget, Denmark is the home of most mink farms in the world with nearly 17 million of them. Covid has already swept through at least 1000 of these mink farms, putting a question mark on the remaining farms.
According to the officials, these mink farms could be the ‘covid hub’ for the natives subjecting them to the deadly virus. Some researchers are worried that the coronavirus identified in the minks is a mutated version that may not be prevented with a future vaccine.
But this statement has enraged thousands of mink farmers, and fur lovers, and soon the government confessed that this order is baseless. Denmark’s agriculture minister has submitted his resignation. Last weekend, hundreds of people gathered in Copenhagen and recorded a protest against the Government’s mishandling of this situation. Similar protests were also recorded in Aalborg, Aarhus and other cities of Denmark.
According to the official reports, all 288 infected animals are killed and it also includes the killing of more than 10 million animals. People are protesting against these killings saying that most of these killings are completed with no single case of infected animals. With one governmental order, Denmark’s fur industry has been collapsed, suggesting the future is dark. More than 6000 people have lost their jobs.
Tage Pedersen, the chairman of the Danish Mink Breeders Association has said in a statement that this is a liquidation of the Danish fur industry that is not only affecting the mink breeders or farmers but the whole community. Most of these farmers have shared that they can never come back to this level again. Only to get these same fur colors or the quality, it may take at least 15 to 20 years. So, yes, the future of the fur industry is gloomy.
This decision by the Danish government is one of the most spontaneous action which will always be remembered. Kopenhagen Fur, the world’s biggest fur auction center has also publicized a “controlled shutdown” which may last 2-3 years after this year’s stock and the stock from previous years is sold. After this announcement, thousands of fur buyers have flown to Denmark for auctions.
But the fur business was not doing very well, even before the coronavirus emerged. The fur is mostly used in luxury goods. Nearly seven years ago, Kopenhagen Fur set a record after it sold nearly $2bn (£1.5bn) worth of furs, leading the international mink production to $4.3bn.
But soon after new competitors marked an entry, the fur industry struggled with maintaining its price. The number of mink farms has also increased all around Europe while there are thousands of mink farms in the US, Russia, and Canada too. In addition to that, the use of fake fur or synthetic fur has also become popular which has cut the original fur price even more. All this adds up to a dark future for the fur industry.