There is no explanation as to why the proposed mink cull has not taken place and the ministers for agriculture and health need to provide the reason, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on agriculture Matt Carthy has said.

“The Department continues to engage with the farmers, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Health on the matter,” a spokesperson for the Department told the Irish Farmers Journal.

The call came as the Cavan-Monaghan TD received confirmation that the cull, recommended as a matter of urgency by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan on 16 November, has not yet happened, with no short-term plan in place.

Abandoned cull

The decision to cull came after a mutated version of COVID-19 was detected among farmed mink in Denmark.

There are currently three mink fur farms operating in Ireland, based in counties Donegal, Laois and Kerry. They are considered large farms, producing in the region of 120,000 mink per annum.

Carthy said: “This recommendation was publicly accepted by the Department of Agriculture. However, in response to parliamentary questions I submitted, it appears that the cull has now been abandoned.

“The Minister for Health also needs to urgently clarify whether he accepts that the actions of the Department of Agriculture have been adequate.”

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