Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Government officials in Denmark are considering digging up hundreds of thousands of minks that were killed and buried hastily because of the coronavirus.
Some of the culled minks, which were suspected of carrying a strain of the coronavirus, have been rising up from their graves because the gas in their bodies allowed them up emerge from the topsoil they were covered with.
The embarrassing incidents have created serious concerns of contamination from the rotting animals and poisoning of underground water supply.
The new coronavirus mutation found in minks has spread to humans in Denmark, killing 12 people in August and September.
The Danish government said that, in its haste, some of the minks were killed improperly and buried incorrectly. Two mink gravesites in Jutland, in the northern region of Denmark, have become the main areas of concern. Both sites are near mink farms.
Danish Agriculture Minister Rasmus Prehn said one solution is digging up all the minks buried and incinerating them at the location.
"If there is one thing we have learned from the last few weeks, it is that the decisions we make must be made on the best possible basis," Prehn said. "One makes mistakes when being too hasty."
The cull has devastated Denmark's lucrative mink industry and led to political fallout. Agriculture Minister Mogens Jensen resigned from office, saying he did not have "sufficient support among a majority of the parliamentary parties."
Health experts fear a mutated coronavirus could hinder the development of antibodies against the virus and, in turn, reduce the chance of developing an effective vaccine.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen acknowledge the devastating impact the cull has had while visiting mink farms Thursday.
"Their life's work [has been] shattered," Frederiksen said. "It has been emotional for them, and ... sorry. It has for me too."