A Fraser Valley mink farm has been placed under quarantine with restrictions prohibiting the movement of animals and materials from the property.
The quarantine follows after one mink on the farm tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
Two additional mink are suspect positive for the virus, pending the confirmation of testing. A plan is in place to provide feed and care to the mink during the outbreak that respects the conditions of the quarantine and maintains both worker and mink safety. No workers on the farm have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, and all have received or been offered their first dose of vaccination.
Twenty mink were tested for the virus as part of the Province’s general surveillance procedures, with the one positive test result confirmed on May 17, 2021. The farm has approximately 25,000 animals, the remainder of which appear healthy and are not displaying any symptoms of illness. It is not currently known how the mink contracted the virus. The ministry is working with stakeholders to identify potential sources.
This is the third mink farm in B.C. to have mink test positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Genetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 has been completed in samples from the first two farms with the results showing the people and animals were infected with an identical or nearly identical strain. The strain detected in those cases had been circulating in people in B.C., indicating COVID-19 spread from people to animals, and not the other way around.
The locations of all farms are not being released as per Section 16.1 of the Animal Health Act, which prohibits the disclosure of information that would identify a specific place where an animal is located.