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Icelandic Vet Strike Halts Livestock Slaughter

12 May 2015, at 12:00am

ICELAND - Concern is running high in Iceland that a strike by vets in a dispute with the government could force some farmers into bankruptcy.

The strike that has been running since 20 April has started to cause shortages of meat in the supermarkets.

Meat imports are stranded at the docks because they cannot be inspected and the farmers are concerned about the welfare of livestock the vets’ dispute is causing.

According to the Iceland Farmers' Association the situation is most severe in the pig and poultry sectors.

The association said that farmers are facing financial troubles because they cannot sell their animals and because they cannot get any income they cannot afford feed and other essential supplies for the livestock.

The farmers’ association said that the strike could push some into bankruptcy and cause disruption in the country’s meat production for some time after the strike is over.
Because of the seriousness of the situation the farmers sent a letter to the ministry of agriculture last week describing the situation and calling for immediate emergency action.

The farmers’ association has also called on the advisory board for animal welfare to take action by monitoring the situation and ensuring welfare is not compromised.

The farmers had an initial success in the first week of the strike where the striking vets allowed an exemption for some birds to be slaughtered.

But no exemptions were granted for the pig sector and the slaughter of animals has been completely halted.

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