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Mink (with the Latin name Neovison vison and Mustela lutreola) is a North American semi-aquatic mammal that has been introduced to many countries, including Scandinavia, for fur farming. Now, in Corona times, there has been a lot of talk about the future of minks, so here are ten facts you should know about minks!

Two different types of minks…

Mink is actually a collective name for two different types of minks. The American mink, known as Neovison vison, and the European mink, known as Mustela lutreola. [source]

Can be difficult to distinguish…

Although both types of minks are undoubtedly very similar, they also have a lot of individual characteristics. The American mink is generally larger and more adaptable than the European mink. However, due to variations in size, an individual mink cannot usually be determined as European or American with certainty without examining its skeleton. [source]

Although both types of minks are undoubtedly very similar, they also have a lot of individual characteristics. The American mink is generally larger and more adaptable than the European mink. However, due to variations in size, an individual mink cannot usually be determined as European or American with certainty without examining its skeleton.

Territorial animals…

Minks are highly territorial animals. A male does not tolerate another male within its territory but seems to be less aggressive towards females. Generally, the territories of both males and females are separate, but a female’s territory may sometimes overlap with a male’s. [source]

Main diet of minks…

Their prey consists of mammals (such as rabbits, rats, and various rodents), birds (including ducks), amphibians, reptiles, fish and crayfish. Minks consume a lot of fish, especially during winter. [source]

Their prey consists of mammals (such as rabbits, rats, and various rodents), birds (including ducks), amphibians, reptiles, fish and crayfish. Minks consume a lot of fish, especially during winter.

Minks are bred in Sweden for their fur…

In Sweden, minks have been bred exclusively for their fur since 2014. Fox farming was phased out in 2001, and in 2014, the last chinchilla farm closed due to stricter regulations for animal welfare. However, minks are still bred in Sweden today, despite lively discussions from animal rights activists, particularly in connection with them carrying a new mutated variant of the Corona virus. [source]

Fast swimmers…

Minks swim using their hind legs. Their fur is extremely dense, which allows them to withstand cold temperatures. However, their vision is mediocre underwater. Nevertheless, they are very fast swimmers, moving at a speed of 46-54 centimeters (18-21 inches) per second in the water! [source]

Typically, they don’t live longer than 4 years…

Mating season for minks occurs from February to April. The gestation period is only 28 days, but minks have delayed fetal development, so the 4-6 young (often more in captive-bred animals) are born after 40-75 days. When born, the pups weigh about 5 grams (0.17 ounces), and their eyes open after a month. They leave the mother after approximately 3-4 months, in the autumn, and become s*xually mature at about one year of age. Minks in the wild rarely live longer than four years.

Mating season for minks occurs from February to April. The gestation period is only 28 days, but minks have delayed fetal development, so the 4-6 young (often more in captive-bred animals) are born after 40-75 days. When born, the pups weigh about 5 grams (0.17 ounces), and their eyes open after a month. They leave the mother after approximately 3-4 months, in the autumn, and become s*xually mature at about one year of age. Minks in the wild rarely live longer than four years.

Subspecies Neovison macrodon was last observed in 1894…

The mink is the only living species in the Neovison genus, which also includes the extinct species Neovison macrodon, last observed in the wild in 1894. Neovison macrodon was long considered a subspecies of mink, which may be a reason why no protective measures were established. Previously, minks were placed in the Mustela genus, along with other members like the weasel, but genetic studies indicate significant enough differences that it is now often classified in its own genus instead. [source]

Denmark accounts for 40% of global production…

European fur farming is concentrated in Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. Sweden also has a smaller fur farming industry consisting of around 400,000 minks. China is the world’s largest individual importer and exporter of fur. There are currently over 6,000 fur farms in EU countries. The EU accounts for a total of 67% of global mink production. Denmark is the leading mink-producing country, accounting for almost 40% of all world production. The industry is controversial in many parts of the world and is not even allowed in many countries.

European fur farming is concentrated in Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. Sweden also has a smaller fur farming industry consisting of around 400,000 minks. China is the world’s largest individual importer and exporter of fur. There are currently over 6,000 fur farms in EU countries. The EU accounts for a total of 67% of global mink production. Denmark is the leading mink-producing country, accounting for almost 40% of all world production. The industry is controversial in many parts of the world and is not even allowed in many countries.

Minks in captivity lack their opportunity to swim…

The animal rights organization called “Djurens Rätt” (Animal Rights in English) is trying to influence the mink industry in countries like Sweden, where they want to require breeders to provide pools for all minks. British research has shown that the thing minks miss most in captivity is the ability to swim. In Switzerland and Germany, there are laws requiring breeders to provide pools for the animals, which has led to the disappearance of mink farming in these two countries to a large extent. [source]


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