Fur Europe issues updated corona guidelines for mink farmers
May 26 2020 - On the basis of ongoing research on four mink farms in The Netherlands, Fur Europe has updated the guidelines for mink farmers, which were issued first time 26 April. The updated guidelines reflect new findings in the research suggesting SARS CoV-2 may be transmissible from mink to human. Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten said the risk of such animal-to-human transmission of the virus outside fur farms is "negligible." Fur Europe continues to monitor the development in The Netherlands. Download Covid-19 disease guidelines for mink farmers (pdf).
New Covid-19 research results from Dutch mink farms
May 20 2020 - Based on initial research results from the ongoing investigation into Covid-19 contamination on mink farms in the Netherlands, Dutch authorities now say it may be possible that an infection from mink back to a farm employee has occurred. However, further research is needed to establish how and when people and animals associated with mink farms in the Netherlands have been infected. Based on new initial research results from the ongoing investigation into Covid-19 contamination on mink farms in the Netherlands, Dutch authorities now say it is plausible may be possible that an infection from mink back to farm employee has occurred. It is not possible to say with 100 per cent certainty how the contamination occurred. However, further research is needed to establish how and when people and animals associated with mink farms in the Netherlands could have been infected. The Dutch authorities maintain that the risk of human exposure to virus outside mink farms is negligible. Biosecurity measures have however been legally enforced on all Dutch mink farms as a consequence of the new findings, and non-essential visitors are not allowed on mink farms at present. So far the Dutch Minister of Agriculture rejects that culling of the herd is a necessary precaution. "The Dutch authorities have so far successfully taken responsibility for containing Covid-19 on the mink farms. Fur Europe has already issued biosecurity guidelines across the industry, and we will continue to react on basis of the ongoing research in the Netherlands," says Mette Lykke Nielsen, CEO of Fur Europe. Covid-19 is known to have infected a total of five farms, all in the same area of the Netherlands. As a consequence of the new findings, screening for antibodies will take place on all mink farms in the Netherlands. Farm cats are under suspicion for transmission of virus between farms, and this is a part of the ongoing research. Air and dust samples collected outside the farms have demonstrated virus is not airborne, and a 400-meter precautionary security zone around the five infected mink farms have been lifted.
Fur Accessories Designer is Sewing Masks to Fight Pandemic
Apr 07 2020 - Leaving aside the furriers’ knife and the leather tools for a while, the Greek designer Alexandros Kotoulas, who is behind the brand Alexquisite, has started sewing face masks to help protect people against COVID-19. The studio in Athens, usually full of fur scraps and leather pieces, has now been transformed into a small factory with patterns, sewing machines and textiles laying around. The coronavirus outbreak halted most of his project and left Alex, like many of us, stuck at home under lockdown. But instead of working on his next collections, the former Fur Summer school participant who trained at Louis Vuitton decided to help those who could be affected by the crisis. “There was no availability of protective masks, and I thought I could use my sewing skills and invest my energy producing a small amount of them for people that would need them most,’’ says Alex. Like most counties in the world, Greece is suffering the severe consequences of the pandemic with a shortage of protective equipment. The crisis prompted many creatives people like Alex to help however they can. Despite that the sewing process is straightforward for most people with basic skills, Alex came across another problem making his task more difficult. With commercial shops closed down, there is also a shortage of textile materials, prompting him to sticks to the main the basic principle of sustainability – use every single piece of the material and waste nothing. ‘’I am trying to find the smartest way to use my existing fabrics. I used all the cotton available in the workshop to produce the prototypes, and then I ended up using two bed sheets for the lack of other textiles!’’ Even if the masks he makes are not quite up to the standard of the medical ones, they offer adequate protection to those who wear them as long as they are made of cotton and not synthetic textiles which can’t be sterilised properly. Like many small businesses in the midst of the international crisis, Alex hopes that the fashion industry will recover and people will still want a small accessory and a bit of colour in their life. While this happens, he calls all designers and furriers to help with the effort saying all it takes is a sewing machine, textiles and desire to help.
Fur Associations Donate Protective Equipment and Funds to Hospitals
Apr 06 2020 - Fur farmers in Norway have donated 2,000 pieces of protective equipment to the health sector. "Contributing to the community is a matter of course for us since we have the equipment in stock the community needs. Through our daily work with animals, we know how important good infection control equipment is," said Guri Wormdahl, Head of Communications at the Norwegian Fur Breeders' Association. The donation was forwarded following a request by the Directorate of Health, who made a national call for protective equipment. Usually, the protective gear is distributed to fur farm visitors in Norway, but visits are not allowed at the moment. The 2,000 full-body protection gears are now being put to good use at Akerhus University Hospital in Oslo. Also, the International Fur Federation (IFF) is lending a hand to the community. Early April, IFF distributed a grant of 25,000 euro between hospitals in Italy, Greece, Romania, Canada and Turkey.