Denmark’s response to a coronavirus mutation in its mink population has just cost a cabinet minister his job.
Mogens Jensen, the 57-year-old minister for food and veterinary affairs, is stepping down after losing parliament’s support, according to a statement issued by his office on Wednesday.
His departure comes a fortnight after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told Danish farmers to start culling the country’s 17 million mink. She said the response was needed to fight a rare strain of the coronavirus that had the potential to derail global efforts to
develop a vaccine.
But it’s since emerged that the government’s order was illegal. A rushed attempt to put together an emergency bill subsequently failed, and the government only managed to push through the necessary legislation with a slim majority earlier this week, after millions of healthy animals had already been slaughtered.
Frederiksen says the mink needed to be culled, regardless of the legal framework.
But an almost united parliament has condemned her government’s decision to move ahead before consulting the legislature.
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, the leader of Denmark’s main opposition party, the Liberals, says the blame now lies with the prime minister.