A mink farm in the Fraser Valley is under quarantine after one mink tested positive this week for the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
Two more mink from that unidentified farm are suspected positive for SARS-CoV-2, pending confirmation of tests, according to the May 18 release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
A total of 20 mink were tested for the virus, during this round of provincial surveillance, with the one positive confirmed on May 17, said the ministry.
“A plan is in place to provide feed and care to the mink during the outbreak that respects the conditions of the quarantine and maintains both worker and mink safety.”
This is the third mink farm in B.C. to have mink test positive since the start of the pandemic. One of the three was found to be in Chilliwack, after danger tape showed up blocking local driveways after an outbreak was declared last year.
No workers on this latest farm have tested positive for COVID-19, and all have received or been offered their first dose of vaccination.
The farm has 25,000 animals, the remainder of which “appear healthy and are not displaying any symptoms” of the illness.
No one knows how the mink contract the virus and ministry reps they are investigating the source. The strain detected in those cases had been circulating in people in B.C., indicating COVID-19 spread from people to animals, and not the other way around, according to the news release.
Genetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 has been completed in samples from the first two farms with the results showing the people and animals were infected with an identical or nearly identical strain.
The locations of affected farms are not being released, according to the ministry rep, as per sections of the Animal Health Act that prohibits the disclosure of information that would identify where an animal is located.
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