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Ghost farms: the mink sheds abandoned to the pandemic

More than 1,000 mink farms in Denmark were ordered to close over fears a Covid mutation was a risk to human health. Two years on, most will never reopen

  • Photographs by Agata Lenczewska-Madsen. Words by Tom Levitt

The farm is quiet. Martin Merrild is sweeping leaves. Behind him is a row of 20 large sheds – all empty. Two years ago, his farm near Hjerm in West Jutland had been home to 15,000 mink, a small carnivorous mammal bred by farmers in individual cages before being skinned for its fur.

Since he started mink farming almost 40 years ago, Merrild’s life had revolved around a yearly cycle. It would start with a smaller population of female and male mink. In early March, the females would be ready for breeding and Merrild and his staff would have just a few weeks to ensure they got a mate. From late April, mink the size of a thumb would be born.

Martin Merrild has been farming mink since the 1980s, until an outbreak of Covid in 2020 saw his entire herd culled. He hasn’t reared a mink since

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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