Coronavirus found in Greek mink farms - ministry official

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ATHENS (Reuters) - The new coronavirus has been found in mink at two farms in northern Greece, an agriculture ministry official said on Friday.

The strain found in the mink had not mutated from that found in humans, the official said.

The breeder at one of the farms, in the northerly Kozani region, also tested positive for the virus, and tests were being conducted on workers. A cull of the 2,500 mink at that farm was due to begin shortly.

Denmark's entire stock of 17 million mink is due to be culled after a mutated coronavirus was found in mink farms there, and more than 15,000 mink in the United States have died of the new coronavirus since August.

Fur production is an important industry in Kozani and nearby Kastoria, where the second farm is located. Greece's population of mink is estimated at hundreds of thousands, and fur exports bring in about 60-70 million euros a year.

"This has dealt another blow to the 800 families living off the sector in the region," said Dimitris Kosmidis, head of the Greek fur federation in Kozani.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Kevin Liffey)