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There have been more than 1 million human deaths globally from the coronavirus so far, 213,000 of them in the United States.
The race to stem that tide of deaths is significantly affecting a variety of animal species, in some cases in very surprising ways.
Before we get to the meat of the matter, if you’re curious about the ethics of animal testing (a long-term and complex issue about which many people feel strongly) check out this piece from Stanford University examining both sides of the debate.
With that preface stated, here are six animals impacted by the pandemic itself, and the attempt to cure and treat COVID-19:
There have been few solid cases of animal-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, and minks are one example. As a result, mink farms have culled their stock, resulting in the deaths of many thousands of minks around the world.
In the United States, as many as 8,000 minks in three states died from COVID-19 infections after workers at farms passed the disease to the animals. Veterinarians said they do not believe humans were at risk from catching the virus from the animals in this case.
Mice are often used in animal testing, but when the pandemic began, laboratories faced a different problem. With no scientists and lab techs coming to work, the mice were left without anyone to care for them.
The solution was to euthanize thousands of mice, presumably so they wouldn’t starve to death. “It was heartbreaking,” one researcher said, “scientifically and emotionally.” As Peter Smith, associate director of Yale University’s Animal Resources Center, told Science Magazine, “This is a difficult situation for everyone, and I assure you the