Europe

Danish PM Frederiksen avoids impeachment over illegal mink cull order

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has avoided impeachment over her government’s decision to cull the country’s mink population.

Frederiksen was given a simple reprimand on Tuesday for ordering the slaughter of 15 million animals without legal authority.

Opposition parties had called for further prosecution, but a parliamentary enquiry committee imposed the symbolic reprimand and decided against any more legal action.

An investigation last week found that the Danish Prime Minister had made “grossly misleading” and “reprehensible” statements.

In November 2020, Frederiksen had announced that 15 million animals would be killed to prevent the transmission of potential COVID-19 variants.

The government then abruptly approved an order to cull the country’s entire mink population, devastating the largest fur industry in the European Union.

It later emerged that the Danish law only allowed the government to slaughter animals in an infected farm or region.

The scandal led to the resignation of Denmark’s agriculture minister and raised questions over the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Frederiksen has acknowledged her “mistakes” but has maintained that she was unaware that there was no law that allowed her to order the cull.

She has also reiterated that the decision to slaughter mink was “taken on the basis of a very serious risk assessment”.

Opposition parties have still threatened to call a vote of no confidence in Frederiksen, despite Tuesday’s punishment.

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