In January, MERE’s parent department, SEBE, and the Danish Center for Rural Research (CLF) hosted the first in a new series of webinars aimed at addressing a variety of sustainability and transitional challenges. The aim of the series is to broaden and deepen our understanding of interconnections amongst sustainability concerns that extend throughout Danish and global society. The topics in this webinar series will deal with tradeoffs and complex societal challenges in a broad and diverse academic framework. The aim is to share knowledge and perspectives.

Our first topic was the mink fur industry in Denmark. Already sometimes controversial, mink farming in Denmark became highly contentious in the fall of 2020 through a political decision to mandate the cull of all mink in Denmark. The decision was made to stem the growth of a Covid-19 variant being carried by the mink. The decision has impacted wide aspects of sustainability and resource use. These include biogas and the circular economy, animal welfare, the role of the government in supporting community and industry transitions in the face of such abrupt shifts, and the industry setting in legal and global contexts.

The webinar was well attended by participants from around the globe and a lively and informative panel discussion followed excellent presentations from four speakers across academia and industry.

Recordings of this and future webinars can be found here, or you can go directly to the first webinar, “Fur Flying: Mink in Denmark and the World” here.

Stay tuned for news of the next webinar!

Note: Days after the webinar, the government determined that it would pay up to 19 billion DKK to the mink farm industry in response to the culling.