SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Agriculture has filed a temporary emergency rule requiring all mink ranchers to vaccinate their animals against COVID-19.
State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz said officials are looking to stop the virus from mutating in mink and being passed back to humans, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
“ODA is taking the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection in captive mink, as well as reduce the risk of potential mutation of the virus and the potential for virus transmission back to humans,” Scholz said in a statement.
The state has given ranchers until the end of August to vaccinate.
A 2020 report by the Fur Commission USA counts 11 permitted mink farms in Oregon with an estimated 438,327 animals. That makes Oregon the fourth-largest pelt-producing state behind Wisconsin, Utah and Idaho. Eight of Oregon’s mink farms are in Marion County, with two in Clatsop County and one in Linn County.
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