The Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs,
Government of Spain
Sub: Savage culling of minks in Spain, backed by unsubstantiated evidence
I am writing to you pertaining to the shocking matter of decision to cull over a lakh minks in Spain, under the garb of COVID crisis.
In relation to that, as a scientist, I would like to bring to your notice where we stand in terms of evidence. In a recent research article titled ‘Host range of SARS-CoV-2 and implications for public health’ published in the Lancet Microbiome, the authors stated that there was a growing concern over anthroponosis (transmission from humans to animals) of COVID-19, given that it was discovered and spread on mink farms in Spain and Netherlands, that only SUGGESTED (the cycle of transmission is yet to be backed by epidemiological evidence based science) that there was transmission back to humans (also known as reverse anthroponosis). It needs to be noted that neither experimental studies nor computational models alone can confirm the susceptibility of a species to catch SARS-CoV-2 as every species differ in terms of infection and how the disease clinically manifests.
The authors had asked for implementing early surveillance and precautionary mitigation measures on different species, to review the ability to isolate, protect, or contain animals in domestic, agricultural and wildlife settings. Then WHERE DOES CULLING COME FROM? In the words of the Agriculture Minister of Aragon himself, "IT WAS NOT CLEAR IF TRANSMISSION WAS POSSIBLE FROM ANIMALS TO HUMANS AND VICE-VERSA." This is an absolute mockery of science by UNSUBSTANTIATED EVIDENCE!
Can you harbour the savage thought of culling humans when we are the known transmitters? No, because we vote and animals do not! Kindly consider science and be humane, otherwise we should be mentally prepared to welcome another pandemic (please do have a look at the role of minks in ecology). No species can be wiped off from the face of the earth until and unless the nature itself decides to. Us tampering with nature is what led to the COVID-19 crisis and we have still not learned and probably we never will.
As usual, govts thought its fine to keep all animals locked in rooms during the lockdown and anyone who came out to walk them were being beaten by the police. The police have been enjoying the lack of democracy in India. The Honourable high court had to come to the rescue.