Lithuania's veterinary agency said "dozens" had been killed among 60,000 mink at a sole farm infected so far, 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Vilnius, but a mass Baltic cull like Denmark's was not planned. "Didn't have Zombie Minks on my bingo card", tweeted a user. "Gases are formed during decomposition, which causes the bodies to swell a little and, in worst cases, they get pushed out of the ground", police spokesperson Thomas Kristensen explained.
Some of the thousands of minks slaughtered in Denmark to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission to humans have emerged from their graves in the west of the country due to the accumulation of gases in their bodies, authorities said Thursday. The food and fisheries minister resigned last week.
Jensen's replacement, Rasmus Prehn, said on Friday he supported the idea of digging up the animals and incinerating them.
The mass graves are guarded 24 hours a day to keep people and animals away from the graves until a fence has been constructed, it said. Placed near underground water reserves, worries over contamination are being voiced, as described in local news outlet Jyllands-Posten (in Danish).
The discovery of a mutated form of the virus prompted a cull of almost 17 million mink, devastating the Danish fur industry - the largest in the EU.
Earlier this month, the Social Democratic minority government got a majority in parliament to back its decision to cull all of Denmark's roughly 15 million mink. The culled minks are now rising from their graves.
"It's been emotional", Frederiksen told reporters, with tears in her eyes, broadcasters DR and TV2 reported. "Sorry. It has for me too", Frederiksen said with a wavering voice, pausing for breath in between words. They represent 40% of the world's mink fur production and are the world's leading exporter.
After a tumultuous couple of weeks since the order was given on November 4, the Minister of Agriculture, Mogens Jensen, stepped down last week after an internal investigation revealed a flawed political process. The law also prohibits mink breeding until the end of 2021.
"It is because of corona, and I hope that can be a small light in the dark at this point for Danish mink breeders", Frederiksen added.
Denmark's opposition says the cull of healthy mink should not have been initiated before compensation plans were in place for the owners and workers at some 1,100 mink farms.