SB 832 VOTE: NO
Died In Committee on 06/26/2021
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/SB832
Committee assigned to bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Committees/SNRWR/Overview
This bill mandates that mink farm owners not operate unless they have tested negative for COVID-19 within previous 10 days and directs the State Department of Agriculture to establish and implement contact tracing for mink farm workers.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
Infringes on personal protected rights.
Legally and financially irresponsible. Centers for Disease Control say, “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.” The CDC did note that people could spread COVID-19 virus to mink, and that mink can spread the virus to other mink. However, “the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low”.
Other states have similar mission statements around preventing cruelty to animals by promoting, enacting and enforcing good public policies and encouraging corporations to honor their duties to social responsibility. In Utah and Wisconsin where COVID-19 was spread to mink by humans and thousands died, no cases showed the opposite. Closing mink farms to contain covid has no evidence of support. Farms will take precautions without government interference because it affects their profits.
All mink farms in Oregon could close by the end of the year. According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, there are 11 state-permitted mink farms in Oregon — eight in Marion county, one in Linn and two in Clatsop. If adopted into law, Oregon would lead the nation by being the first state to adopt a prohibition on mink farming.
More than 85% of pelts used in the world’s fur trade come from small, family-run farms. There are an estimated 275 mink farms in the US covering 23 states. Oregon is the 4th largest producer in the US. Today’s farm-raised mink are among the world’s best cared-for livestock and are nationally regulated. In addition, mink farmers voluntarily adhere to stricter codes of animal husbandry than many other species farmed.