Finnish fur farmers and Helsinki University researchers say they are seeking to develop a coronavirus vaccine for mink and raccoon dogs, bred for their pelts.
"We are now developing an animal vaccine with FIFUR's partner network to ensure the safety of fur breeding for many years to come," said Marja Tiura, chief executive of the Finnish Fur Breeders' Association (FIFUR).
Mink and raccoon dogs were among species believed to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19 infection, researchers said.
Finland has however not detected any COVID-19 infections among its farmed fur animals, authorities said.
"Preliminary immunisation results from fur animal experiments are now also promising. This project provides important research information about the effectiveness of vaccines and protects the health of animals and people who take care of animals," said Olli Vapalahti, professor of zoonotic virology at Helsinki University.
Russia has also recently stated it was working with a vaccine for mink.
Coronavirus infections among farmed mink have been detected in 10 countries.
In Denmark - one of the world's leading producers of mink fur - the government last year ordered the mass cull of all farmed mink based on public health concerns and aimed at preventing the transmission of the novel coronavirus from minks to humans.
The concerns triggering the Danish cull focused on one of the five mink-related viral variants found to weaken humans' ability to form antibodies, possibly rendering future vaccines ineffective.
More than 15 million Danish minks have been culled and mink farming has been banned in the country until the end of 2021.
Australian Associated Press
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