Frederiksen has maintained that she did not know her decision was unlawful

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A parliamentary commission is to grill Denmark’s prime minister Thursday over her government’s illegal decision last year to cull all farmed minks nationwide over fears of a new coronavirus strain.

Formerly the world’s leading exporter of mink fur, the Scandinavian country in November last year controversially decided to kill all of its 15-17 million minks after studies suggested the variant found in some of the animals could jeopardise the effectiveness of future vaccines.

The commission will be seeking to determine whether Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was aware that the order had no legal basis — a fact that emerged soon after the cull was underway and led the country’s agriculture minister to resign.

At the time, the government only had the authority to ask mink farmers in the seven municipalities affected by the mutation to cull their minks.

But an agreement was reached retroactively, rendering the government’s decision legal, and the nationwide cull went ahead as planned.

Prior to the cull, Denmark was also the world’s second largest producer of mink fur after China.

A specially appointed parliamentary commission has since April been scrutinising the government’s decision and all documents related to it, as well as questioning witnesses to dissect the decision-making process.

Ultimately, the commission will decide whether or not to recommend that the matter be brought before a special court that judges the actions of cabinet members while in office.—Agencies

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