The farm came under scrutiny on May 22, when seven farm workers tested positive for the virus. The General Directorate of Food Quality and Health locked it down, letting no animals or animal by-products enter or leave the farm.
Several rounds of testing: Seven animals were randomly selected, and all tested negative on June 3, the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment of the regional Aragon government said in a statement Thursday.
On June 8, 20 samples were tested again, one of which gave "non-conclusive positive evidence" for the virus.
A third test on June 22 found five positive cases out of 30 animal samples.
Knowing that mink slaughter would cause "serious economic damage to the owner of the farm," the department ordered a fourth test, for 90 specimens. The results came back on Monday: 78 animals, more than 86% of the total samples, tested positive.
Order for slaughter: After receiving the results, the regional government ordered the Department of Agriculture to slaughter all 92,700 minks on the farm as a preventative measure.
“It should be clarified that the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and the Environment cannot determine whether there is human-to-animal transmission or vice versa, since such a conclusion must be the subject of another study and this decision is taken as a precautionary measure,” the statement said.