Denmark plans to burn millions of dead mink that have been excavated from mass graves over concerns the carcasses could pollute nearby waterbeds, Danish state broadcaster TV2 reports.
Around four million mink were culled in the autumn and buried in military grounds over concerns the animals could spread Covid-19 after the virus was found on more than 200 mink farms.
Subsequently, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency said that nearby watersheds could be polluted by the mass graves. After six months in the ground, authorities expect the carcasses no longer pose a risk of infection of the virus. Excavated mink from graves in Jutland will go to 13 incineration plants throughout Denmark later this month and the last mink is expected to be burned in mid-July.
One plant is carrying out test incinerations on what they say is an “unusual task” in order to check the “process,” to see how “easily the waste burns” and also to determine the best way to handle the carcasses.”
In a statement, the Maabjerg Energy Center said the waste “consists of a mixture of soil, mink and lime, and we do not yet know the exact composition. Therefore, we also do not know how easily the waste burns.”
Some Danes have expressed concern about the potential odor, which the Maabjerg Energy Center says could be a problem especially during transporting and unloading the mink.
“We have updated the extraction system, so we are as prepared as possible. The actual combustion and smoke from the plant will not smell, as the high temperatures in the combustion process neutralize odours,” it says.