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ODA requires all captive mink vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the animal virus linked to COVID-19 in humans

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has filed an Emergency Temporary Rule (603-011-0680) that requires Oregon mink operators to vaccinate all captive mink on their premises against SARS-CoV-2 and participate in surveillance testing. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.

“ODA is taking the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection in captive mink, as well as reduce the risk of potential mutation of the virus and the potential for virus transmission back to humans,” said Dr. Ryan Scholz, State Veterinarian, ODA. “It is critical that owner/operators vaccinate their mink against the virus. In addition, ongoing surveillance testing will provide assurance that the vaccine is effective and infection has not occurred on the farms.”

According to the Emergency Temporary Rule, all captive mink must be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 by August 31, 2021. Any captive mink born or imported after August 31, 2021, must be vaccinated within 120 days of birth or within 60 days of the date that any captive mink are imported into Oregon. Mink operators must administer an approved vaccine following all vaccine manufacturer instructions.

In addition, any person holding captive mink in Oregon is required to participate in surveillance testing for SARS-CoV-2 according to guidelines established by ODA in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

SARS-CoV-2 remains a reportable disease in Oregon. ODA is in constant communication with the Oregon mink industry and will continue its work in preventing the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 onto their farms.