Since ordering the cull in early November, the Danish government has been forced to admit that it had no legal power to order healthy minks outside contaminated zones killed, and the agriculture minister resigned Wednesday.
"I regretted this earlier, I regret it again and take responsibility for this, especially I regret this to the many mink farmers who have been in a very unhappy situation", adding that "There has only been one objective: to stop the Covid-19 infection in and from mink because it poses a threat to public health".
The Chief Sanitary Inspectorate said there were 18 cases of infections among farm workers that were unrelated to each other.
Irish national media reports that there are three mink farms housing around 100,000 animals throughout the country. Industry groups objected strongly to the tests, worrying they could lead to a nationwide cull.
Animal rights group Animal Wellness Action and Center for a Humane Economy also responded by sending letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urging them to quarantine mink farms across the United States, halt breeding programs, and employ a buy-out to weed-out mink farms completely.
According to the Department of Health, the continued farming represents an ongoing risk of additional, mink-adapted Covid variants emerging.
The statement said: "Mink farmers continue to operate in full compliance with all legislative and animal welfare requirements and have co-operated fully with these efforts".
Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization's regional director for Europe, described mink farms on Thursday as "a reservoir where the coronavirus is thriving".
Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden are the other nations to have discovered SARS-CoV-2 in minks, the agency said in a statement. A few cases of humans being infected by minks have also been reported.
Earlier on Thursday, Oxford University and AstraZeneca said their potential jab had safely produced a robust immune response in older adults.
Nationally, the proportion of Covid-19 cases in humans that came from mink is falling, the institute said.
The ISPCA said its joint campaign with Veterinary Ireland for an end to fur farming resulted in the Programme for Government commitment to phase it out.