Friday. 02.12.2022
MASS SLAUGHTER

Danish PM under pressure as commission probes deleted mink cull SMS

The so-called Mink Commission was set up to investigate the mass slaughter of some 15 million mink, causing an international outcry
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Photo: Thierry Roge/dpa.
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Photo: Thierry Roge/dpa.

The decision to order a mass cull of millions of mink at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year is catching up with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

A commission set up to investigate the matter told Danish media on Wednesday it had been trying in vain to obtain certain text messages sent by Frederiksen to colleagues around the time of the cull.

The so-called Mink Commission was set up to investigate the sequence of events in November 2020 that resulted in the mass slaughter of some 15 million mink, causing an international outcry.

Frederiksen announced that all farmed mink in the country had to be culled following the discovery that the coronavirus had spread from humans to mink, mutated in the mink and then jumped back to humans as a variant strain.

However, it later transpired that there was no legal basis at the time for the prime minister to order the destruction of millions of animals.

Denmark's then food minister, Mogens Jensen, whose purview mink farming fell under, resigned in the wake of the controversy.

SMS history requested

During its investigation, the commission requested the SMS history of key players in the decision.

The prime minister's office explained that the messages weren't available, not because they'd been purposely deleted, but simply as all those in question had set their phones to delete messages over a month old.

The Mink Commission is currently attempting to have the messages restored by the phone company, however.

Frederiksen is scheduled appear before the commission on 9 December.

Danish PM under pressure as commission probes deleted mink cull SMS
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