In the Autumn of 2020, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen ordered for all Danish minks to be put down due to a covid virus mutation found among Danish minks. Danish media TV2 has visited China where the Danish mink furs are especially popular and where it is known to have the highest quality of all.
The Danish reporter has traveled to China to try and find the last Danish mink furs and already on arrival she is questioned about the Danish mink production when the cab drivers realize that she is Danish.
The trip has taken the journalist to Hanning in the Zhejian province south of Shanghai, a place that has been the center for the world’s textile production with fur and leather. Previously exclusive fur coats were made in Denmark, but today they are made in China. Some of the products get exported but the vast majority is being sold to the growing group of Chinese newly rich.
One of the fur traders is Sun Tao who has been in the industry for 20 years. He used to go to Denmark three or four times a year to fur auctions at Copenhagen fur. Sun Tao was both choked and sad when he heard about the national destruction of the Danish minks.
“I don’t feel like the farmers can survive like this. Our industry is facing a shutdown because we can’t get a hold of commodities. It is hard to accept that we have lost our business,” Sun Tao says.
So far, the consequence has been that the prices on Danish minks have doubled in China. This is due to the fear of an upcoming shortage in Danish minks. Denmark has for many years been the world’s biggest manufacturer of mink furs and it is also known for producing the best quality of fur.
“Minks from other countries don’t even come close to the Danish quality,” Sun Tao says while stroking a Danish mink fur to show the quality.
It is still uncertain whether Danish mink farms will ever start operating again. Important voices believe the time is over for the mink fur industry and that Denmark should follow the example of Great Britain, Austria, and Holland where mink production has been banned.
In China, however, they hope the Danish mink fur industry will return to normal.
“Minks from Denmark are the best in the world and many factories are dependent on Danish mink. Especially the silver-colored and the Coffee colored ones,” Qiu Zu Cheng, who works for one of the major fur importers, says.
The Chinese mink traders are sure that the demand for Danish mink fur will keep growing even though the economy has been down lately and that more young Chinese people are aware of the animal rights issues connected with mink production.