Zoonoses in fur farms

With the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the role of fur farming and especially minks in the cycle of zoonotic diseases, i.e. infectious diseases between animals and humans, has been highlighted. Zoonoses can be transmitted directly from one animal or person to another, or indirectly, for example, through feed or work tools.

The project aims to assess zoonotic pathogens of public health significance as well as their transmission routes, which enable pathogens to be transmitted to fur animals and from them to humans. These include respiratory viruses and faecal pathogens. Antibiotic resistance, especially MRSA and ESBL bacteria occurring in livestock production, is also examined.

The goal was:

  • to identify the most significant zoonoses in terms of public health in Finnish fur farms;
  • to assess through which route and how likely it is for fur animals to become infected with a zoonotic pathogen;
  • to evaluate the transmission risk of zoonotic diseases from fur animals to humans.


2022 - 2023

Project Funding

Finnish Food Authority

Research group

  • Pirkko Tuominen (Finnish Food Authority, Risk Assessment Unit)
  • Heidi Rossow (Finnish Food Authority, Risk Assessment Unit)
  • Leena Seppä-Lassila (Finnish Food Authority, Risk Assessment Unit)
  • Suvi Joutsen (Finnish Food Authority, Risk Assessment Unit)
  • Terhi Järvelä (Finnish Food Authority, Risk Assessment Unit)

Project publications

Rossow H, Seppä-Lassila L, Joutsen S, Järvelä T, Tuominen P (2023). Zoonoses on fur farms – risk profile. Finnish Food Authority Research Reports 4/2023. ISBN 978-952-358-051-0. http://hdl.handle.net/10138/564730 

Additional information

Page last updated 9/7/2023