Spain orders cull of nearly 100,000 farmed mink after animals test positive for Covid-19

By Laura Pérez Maestro and Sara Spary, CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/17/europe/spain-culls-mink-scli-intl/index.html

Updated 6:19 AM ET, Fri July 17, 2020Almost 100,000 mink on the farm are to be culled after 78 out of 90 animals tested -- equivalent to 87% of the sample -- tested positive for coronavirus.Almost 100,000 mink on the farm are to be culled after 78 out of 90 animals tested — equivalent to 87% of the sample — tested positive for coronavirus.

(CNN)Spanish authorities have ordered the culling of almost 100,000 mink following an outbreak at a farm, where the animals are bred for fur,after a number tested positive for the novel coronavirus.The Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment of Spain’s Aragon region said in a statement on Thursday that it had ordered the slaughter of the 92,700 mink after seven workers on the farm tested positive for Covid-19 and the animals were found to be infected with the coronavirus.

A mink may have infected a human with Covid-19, Dutch authorities believe

A mink may have infected a human with Covid-19, Dutch authorities believeAs a precaution the department shut down the farm, in Teruel, eastern Spain, on May 22, for monitoring before conducting a number of tests at random, which initially returned a negative result.However, subsequent tests, the most recent of which was July 7, confirmed 78 out of 90 animals tested — equivalent to 87% of the sample — had become infected with the coronavirus.Content by CNN UnderscoredThe best deals in Apple’s Amazon storeYes, Apple has set up shop on Amazon. That means you can get official Apple products with free Prime shipping.In the statement, the department said no conclusions could be drawn as to whether “there is human-to-animal transmission or vice versa,” and that “no abnormal behavior has been detected in the animals nor has there been an increase in mortality in them.”However, it said all mink on the farm would be slaughtered as a preventative measure.

Can animals spread Covid-19 to humans?

This is not the first mink farm to have seen a coronavirus outbreak. In May, Dutch authorities introduced mandatory testing at all mink farms in the Netherlands after they said they believed a mink might have infected a human with Covid-19.The testing has led to the culling of up to one million mink in the country at two dozen farms, according to animal welfare charity Humane Society International.”On the basis of new research results from the ongoing research into Covid-19 infections at mink farms, it is plausible that an infection took place from mink to human,” the Dutch government said in a statement at the time. “It also appears from this research that minks can have Covid-19 without displaying symptoms.”

The virus hunters who search bat caves to predict the next pandemic

The virus hunters who search bat caves to predict the next pandemicThe Dutch government also said it believed cats may play a role in the spread of the virus between farms. “Ongoing research shows the viruses at two of the infected farms are very similar,” the statement said. Covid-19 was found in three out of 11 cats at one mink farm, it said.The virus has been seen in a variety of other animals, including a number of tigers in New York’s Bronx Zoo in April and a dog in Hong Kong.According to the World Health Organization, while it is not possible to determine precisely the source of the virus, it most likely originated in bats. However, more research needs to be conducted to determine how the virus potentially spreads from animals to humans as the role animals play in the spread of the virus remains unclear.

CNN’s Mick Krever, Rob Picheta and Julia Hollingsworth contributed to this story.

Spain cancels Pamplona bull running festival as daily coronavirus cases drop again to 3,968 but the number of new deaths climbs to 430

Spain’s best-known bull running festival in the northern town of Pamplona has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, Pamplona city hall said today.

The San Fermin celebration is centuries old and typically attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

During the celebration half-tonne fighting bulls chase hundreds of daredevils, many of whom wear traditional white shirts and scarves, through the narrow streets of the city each morning.

The municipal council agreed to suspend the event which is held each year between July 6 and 14.

The San Fermin celebration in northern town of Pamplona is typically attended by hundreds of thousands of people

The San Fermin celebration in northern town of Pamplona is typically attended by hundreds of thousands of people

Acting mayor of Pamplona Ana Elizalde told a news conference: ‘As expected as it was, it still leaves us deeply sad.

‘In this context there is no place for fireworks, bullfights or bull runs. We are supposed to wear masks, keep a social distance – measures that are incompatible with what San Fermin is.’

People travel from all over the world to Pamplona to test their bravery and enjoy the festival’s mix of round-the-clock parties, religious processions and concerts.

A 50-year-old lawyer from Colorado who has run with the bulls 99 times at San Fermin cancelled his flight in February.

Peter N. Milligan, who wrote a book about his experiences at the fiesta, had been planning to return to Pamplona this year.

Spanish bullfighter Gines Marin performs with a bull at last year's festival on July 7 in Pamplona

Spanish bullfighter Gines Marin performs with a bull at last year’s festival on July 7 in Pamplona

Bulls charge through streets of Pamplona for annual festival

Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time1:43
Fullscreen
Need Text

He said: ‘I was expecting this. Considering the stay at home rules, I would imagine the city would have been overrun if they decided to proceed. Seems like a very smart decision.’

He added: ‘I know this cancellation will be devastating to our friends economically in Pamplona. Fiesta is a tough time to stay healthy under the best of circumstances.’

Spain today recorded a fall in the number of new coronavirus cases but an increase in daily deaths, as 3,968 more people were infected and another 430 died.

The 3,968 new cases – down from 4,266 yesterday – bring the total from 200,210 to 204,178, an increase of 2.0 per cent.

The fall is notable because Spain typically sees an increase in new cases on Tuesdays when delayed weekend figures are fully accounted for.

Deaths increased by 430 today, a higher jump than yesterday’s 399 which takes the overall death toll from 20,852 to 21,282.

This graph shows the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Spain. Today's figure was 3,968, slightly down from yesterday's 4,266

This graph shows the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Spain. Today’s figure was 3,968, slightly down from yesterday’s 4,266

This chart shows the daily number of deaths. Today's figure of 430 is a slight increase from yesterday's 399

This chart shows the daily number of deaths. Today’s figure of 430 is a slight increase from yesterday’s 399

Coronavirus patient Maria Josefa Arias, 76, is taken to hospital by emergency technicians Marisa Arguello de Paula and Itxaso Garcia Giaconi in Galdakao in Spain

Coronavirus patient Maria Josefa Arias, 76, is taken to hospital by emergency technicians Marisa Arguello de Paula and Itxaso Garcia Giaconi in Galdakao in Spain

Spain has been in lockdown since March 14, and the measures are expected to be extended with slight relaxations until May 9.

Health emergency chief Fernando Simon says the rate of new infections in Spain is continuing to fall despite an increase in testing.

The regular increase in cases of around 2-3 per cent a day is far lower than the 15-25 per cent which was typical at the height of the crisis in mid-March.

On average, Spain’s new infection count for Tuesday has been higher than on Monday, probably because of delays in reporting weekend figures.

However, today’s jump of 3,968 was smaller than yesterday’s 4,266, which had marked a slight increase from Sunday’s figure of 4,218.

Against that, Spain had said yesterday that its 4,266 new cases included more than 1,000 older ones which had only just been confirmed.

There are fears that the true death toll may be far higher than 21,282, which have been amplified since Catalonia started disclosing thousands more deaths last week after taking a tally from funeral homes.

Those Catalan deaths have not been recorded in Spain’s nationwide figures, despite the region’s calls for the government to do so.

Simon, the emergency response chief, has acknowledged that the ‘real number of deaths is hard to know’.

Even families burying their dead are not always certain what their loved ones died of.

In a nursing home near Barcelona, an 85-year-old woman died on April 8 of ‘possible’ Covid-19, said her daughter Amparo, citing a doctor’s death certificate.

Amparo said her mother was not tested, accusing political leaders of not protecting citizens and dismissing the official tally as useless.

‘Additional people have died because (politicians) have not made sufficient testing possible so that we can know the reality,’ she said. ‘We have left them to die alone.’

Police hand out face masks in Spain as the lockdown eases

Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time5:05
Fullscreen
Need Text

Health workers wearing white protective suits transfer a patient from her home to the Hospital Infanta Leonor in Madrid on Sunday

Health workers wearing white protective suits transfer a patient from her home to the Hospital Infanta Leonor in Madrid on Sunday

Healthcare workers prepare to move a coronavirus patient at the intensive care unit of the Povisa Hospital in Vigo, Spain

Healthcare workers prepare to move a coronavirus patient at the intensive care unit of the Povisa Hospital in Vigo, Spain

The government has defended its count – which only includes those tested – and said that tracking confirmed deaths allows it to better study the outbreak’s evolution.

Suspected deaths should be analysed at a later stage, the government says.

In other countries, such as Italy and the Netherlands, a large number of coronavirus deaths might not have been reported because of under-testing in nursing homes.

From March 1 to April 10, Spain reported 16,353 coronavirus deaths. But according to the National Epidemiology Centre’s database MoMo, there were 22,487 more deaths than normal for the time of year over the exact same period.

A large part of the 6,134 difference is likely related to COVID-19, said Pedro Gullon, a Spanish Epidemiology Society board member.

But it had to be carefully interpreted because it could also include non-coronavirus deaths of people who did not attend hospitals, he said.

A justice ministry spokesman said it was ‘ridiculous’ to say that the real number of coronavirus deaths could be concealed.

The issue is adding to friction between the government in Madrid and regions with a high degree of autonomy, including Catalonia, whose regional leadership has been waging a long campaign for independence.

The leader of the main opposition People’s Party, Pablo Casado, has demanded that ‘all the truth be told’ about the number of dead.

A lawmaker from the far-right Vox tweeted: ‘No smokescreen will cover the deaths you try to hide’.

The San Fermin festival, which dates back to medieval times and was immortalised in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises was last called off in 1997 after Basque separatist group ETA assassinated a local politician.

Sixteen people have been killed in the bull runs since officials began keeping track in 1910, most recently in 2009 when a 27-year-old Spaniard was gored in the neck, heart and lungs.

The pandemic has also forced the suspension or postponement of major events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Coachella music festival in southern California, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Bulls and runners make their way into the arena in Pamplona

Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time1:08
Fullscreen
Need Text

Spain cancels its world-famous Pamplona bull running festival because of coronavirus

Victory! Spain’s Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Cruel Bullfighting Festival!

 

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/victory-spains-supreme-court-upholds-ban-on-cruel-bullfighting-festival/

There are few nations more embroiled in the animal rights debate than Spain. In a country where bulls are abused, lit on fire, and ritually prodded to death, the fight to protect bulls rages on. According to survey results, 70% of Spanish citizens disapprove of the various bullfighting traditions around the country, and the governing bodies in Spain have finally begun to catch up.

In a ruling today, Spain’s Supreme Court proved they are finally ready to take action against the malicious treatment of bulls in their country, dismantling it piece by piece. The first stop? Putting an end to the insanely cruel Toro de la Vega, a sickening tradition held in the town of Tordesillas in central Spain.

During the grim ceremony, spear-wielding crowds chase a bull to the banks of the River Duero. Once the animal has no escape, the crowds lance the animal to death. Animal rights groups have long been opposed to the practice, and the Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the regional government’s decision to ban the activity entirely. The law also applies to similar practices that may be held in other towns in the area.

The Tordesillas local council has often argued with the ban, saying the legislation undermined “the essence of the popular rite that gave rise to bullfighting” and argued the move would trample of the enjoyment of the festival’s “40,000 fans.”

Since the ban was put in place, a new Toro de la Vega has been put in place, one which still involves a bull-run through town, but forgoes the animal’s public murder.

The president of Spain’s animal-rights party PACMA, Silvia Barquero, has spent years of her life fighting to end the abuses at Toro de la Vega festival. She praised the court’s effective and definitive ending of the practice, which is, according to her group, “not in accordance with the sensitivities of today’s society.” But Barquero still says there is much further to go, and the ruling will hopefully be the first of many victories in the battle to end bullfighting once and for all.

Advertisement
Advertisement

While it’s only one festival in a nation that tortures and executes bulls with regularity, the importance of the ruling cannot be overstated. As mentioned earlier, the Spanish public is overwhelmingly opposed to Bullfighting, which as seen as more of a tourist attraction than a reflection of Spanish society. Like any legislative battle, the wins come in small doses, but for the bulls at this years Toro de la Vega, the change couldn’t have come at a better time.

Love Animal Rights? Check out Animal Rights Groups Call on Government to Shut Down Country’s Cruelest Primate Testing Lab

Thousands of Spanish hunting dogs are killed or abandoned each winter

June 9

Elegant, regal, and admired for their intense speeds, dogs in the 18th century — primarily greyhounds — were often used as hunting dogs in rural Spain during the winter. But over the centuries and in recent years it has been estimated that over 50,000 dogs have been put down or abandoned in open fields left to die at the end of the hunting season because they are considered too old or slow to hunt again, or too expensive to care for.

Photographer and longtime animal activist Martin Usborne reached his Kickstarter goal toward publishing the forthcoming book “Where Hunting Dogs Rest” (U.S release scheduled for September) on June 4.  In the book, Uborne captures achingly beautiful portraits of hunting dogs rescued from an unfortunate end.

More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2015/06/09/thousands-of-spanish-hunting-dogs-are-put-down-each-winter-a-new-book-looks-at-the-ones-who-were-spared/

2 humans gored at Spain bull spearing fiesta

The Associated Press

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 | 12:23 a.m.

Spaniards on horseback have chased a hulking bull and speared him to death at an annual fiesta held in a small central town. But the 580-kilogram (1,279-pound) bull named Vulcano first managed to gore a news agency photographer and another person.

The centuries old tradition in Tordesillas is called savage by animal rights activists, and Spain’s Pacma group against animal mistreatment gave a petition to Parliament with 85,000 signatures demanding it be banned.

The bull gored Agence France Presse freelance photographer Pedro Armestre in the right thigh Tuesday after it was set loose amid thousands of people and the spear-bearing horse riders. AFP says in a statement that Armestre was conscious and taken to a hospital for surgery.

Another unidentified person also suffered a non-life threatening goring.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/sep/22/eu-spain-bull-spearing/bull

Activists Hijack Brutal Bull-spearing Festival

Published: 16 Sep 2013bull

Twenty bulls have been “liberated” from the town of Tordesillas in northern Spain on the eve of a controversial festival in which the whole town hunts down a single animal with spears.

The animals went missing on Saturday night hours before they were due to take part in the notorious Toro de la Vega festival.

Organizers have not ruled out the possibility that animal rights protesters freed the bulls from their stables in the Castile and Leon municipality, online daily El Norte de Castilla reported.

The medieval festival has attracted widespread condemnation for its “savagery and brutality”, with anti-bullfighting party PACMA labelling it one of the “worst examples of animal abuse” in Spain.

Toro de la Vega sees hundreds of spear-wielding participants taking on a 600-kilo beast through the streets and fields of Tordesillas.

The bull, which is surrounded by a multitude of people on foot and on horseback, is only pardoned if it makes it past the fighting zone limits standing.

Ten to fifteen thousand people took to the streets of Madrid on Saturday to call for an end to the ancient bullfighting tradition.

PACMA spokesperson Laura Duarte led the march past Spain’s ruling Popular Party headquarters.

“The PP authorize this festivity in Castile and Leon and opposition party PSOE organize it,” Duarte told digital daily 20minutos.

“They’re both equally responsible for what’s happening in Tordesillas but they won’t change anything unless it’s in their own interests.”

An online campaign launched by Spain’s Animal Dignity Platform has seen thousands of participants holding up signs with the message “I’ll take the bull’s place” as well them posting images of them symbolically breaking spears in half.