PETA warned Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in April of the prospect of an outbreak of COVID-19 on Wisconsin mink farms and is now renewing its call to close all fur farms immediately following a confirmed outbreak in the state and the deaths of at least 8,000 minks on farms in Utah because of the disease—which the animals contracted from workers. PETA says that the shutdown is necessary to protect both humans and other animals. Wisconsin is the largest mink fur–producing state in the U.S., with more than 50 mink factory farms that produce over 1 million pelts per year, representing more than a third of the annual national total, which is thankfully fast declining as designers and consumers reject fur. PETA is also reiterating its offer to help retrain employees to grow snap beans, sweet corn, cranberries, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, and other crops found in the state—and we’ll even help pay for the start-up seeds.

Below, please find a statement from PETA President Ingrid Newkirk:

PETA is calling on Wisconsin officials to follow the lead of France, the Netherlands, and Poland by shutting down the state’s filthy fur farms now. COVID-19 is a deadly airborne and contact disease that spreads from cage to cage, and no one, including minks, deserves to die from it—and animals definitely don’t deserve to live in filth and be gassed, bludgeoned, or skinned for hideous garments that no one wants anymore.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear,” and the group opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. More information about PETA’s effort to stop COVID-19 from spreading through Utah fur farms is available here, and I’d be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

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