SHOCKED viewers were left outraged after the BBC showed LIVE mink "being chucked into a shredder" during a report on the cull of 15 million Covid-infected animals in Denmark.
The shocking footage came as it was revealed millions of the animals are to be slaughtered after a mutant strain of the virus was discovered at more than 200 Danish mink farms.
One clip showed officials arriving at a farm in the north of the country dressed in haz-mat suits and pushing what appeared to be mobile shredding machines.
In a particularly upsetting clip one of the workers is seen chasing down a runaway mink before picking it up and feeding it into one of the machines.
The footage left many BBC News viewers shocked.
Rachel Mansfield tweeted: "Did you REALLY need to show that poor mink being thrown into what looks like a shredder/chipper?
"Sadly, it needs to be done, but seeing that terrified creature running for its life is just sickening. We all have good enough imaginations."
Memz added: "The report about Denmark culling the minks would of not been better to of just reported the story verbally rather then show additional film footage.
"The last clip of a mink trying to escape then get caught and thrown into a machine which looked like a shedding machine."
Some speculated the animals were killed in such a seemingly brutal way to stop their fur being sold on.
Official stats show a total of 12 people have so far been infected at farms mostly in the northern part of the country.
However, health minister Magnus Heunicke said he believes HALF the 783 human Covid-19 cases in northern Denmark were "related" to mink.
And PM Mette Frederiksen said there were now fears that the new, mutated virus posed a "risk to the effectiveness" of a future vaccine.
"It is very, very serious," she added. "Thus, the mutated virus in mink can have devastating consequences worldwide."
Denmark is one of the world's main mink fur exporters -producing millions of furs per year.
Police said the culling of the 15 million mink should happen as soon as possible and would cost the nation around £600m.
Denmark's food minister Mogens Jensen said 207 farms were now infected, up from 41 last month.
The country has registered 50,530 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 729 related deaths.
The animal welfare group Humane Society International applauded the PM for taking "such an essential and science-based step to protect Danish citizens".
It is hoping that losing so many mink to the coronavirus will cause fur farms to go bust.
The organisation's Europe spokesperson Joanna Swabe said: "Although the death of millions of mink, whether culled for Covid-19 or killed for fur, is an animal welfare tragedy.
"Fur farmers will now have a clear opportunity to pivot away from this cruel and dying industry and choose a more humane and sustainable livelihood instead."
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