Danger tape blocks off driveways at a mink farm in Chilliwack on Dec. 7, 2020 after an outbreak was declared. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Danger tape blocks off driveways at a mink farm in Chilliwack on Dec. 7, 2020 after an outbreak was declared. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Mink on Chilliwack farm test positive for COVID-19 virus

Government sent samples to lab after eight farm workers also tested positive

The provincial government says mink on a Chilliwack farm have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Test results from five mink samples taken from a Fraser Valley mink farm have all been confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans,” a press release said Wednesday morning.

It was reported earlier this week that eight workers on the farm tested positive for COVID-19. Mink samples were then collected and submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg. The OIE-World Organisation for Animal Health was notified under international reporting requirements.

B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries says the results were expected, considering the interaction between infected workers and mink on the farm.

Testing is continuing, to determine genome sequencing and the strain of the virus. Results are anticipated in the coming week.

B.C.’s chief veterinarian has placed the farm under a quarantine order prohibiting the movement of animals and materials from the property, the ministry added.

“A plan is in place to provide feed and care to the mink during the outbreak,” the release stated. “The plan respects the conditions of the quarantine and maintains worker and mink safety.”

The farm had been inspected by the chief veterinarian and ministry staff as part of a routine inspection process in September, and was found to comply with all animal welfare and biosecurity standards.

The outbreak at this farm is not considered to pose a health risk to other mink farms.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Chilliwack mink ranch

READ MORE: Pamela Anderson calls on Horgan to ban fur farming after COVID-19 outbreak at mink farm


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jpeters@theprogress.com

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