Denmark to allow mink breeding again from 2023

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FILE PHOTO: Mink pelts are seen stored at Danpels, a mink pelting company, in Aars

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Denmark will not extend a ban on mink breeding when the current ban expires at the turn of the year, the country's agriculture ministry said on Friday.

The government introduced the temporary ban after it ordered the culling of about 17 million mink in 2020 over fears of the animals spreading a mutated coronavirus variant.

The decision caused controversy after it emerged there had been no legal basis to call for healthy mink to be culled.

The lift of the ban was made after an assessment by health authorities showed there was limited risk to public health by resuming a "significantly reduced mink production and by introducing infection prevention measures".

"For the government, it has only been about public health when it comes to the question of mink breeding in Denmark," Agriculture Minister Rasmus Prehn said in a statement.

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, editing by Anna Ringstrom)