Closed Dairy Farm Brings Controversy

11.12.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
A dairy farm closed due to unsanitary conditions has brought reactions from The Farmers Association of Iceland (BÍ) and the farmer who owns the enterprise.

As reported, two dairy farms in west Iceland have been closed due to the deplorable conditions in which the cows there were forced to live. At the farms, inspectors found that cows were living in crowded conditions that were highly unsanitary - manure was in some areas almost knee deep, clinging to the legs and udders of the animals. Fecal matter was also found in the water the cattle drink.

The farms have since been closed down by The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), but the matter is far from over. RÚV reports that Haraldur Benediktsson, the director of the Farmers Association of Iceland (BÍ), has condemned the state of the farms. In a statement sent to the press, he says that BÍ does not sanction the unsanitary conditions in which the animals were forced to live, and that the farmers in question ran their farms in a manner BÍ does not approve.

One of the farmers in question, Bjarni Bærings Bjarnason, told DV that MAST had effectively "cut the financial legs out from under my family" with the ordered closure of his farm, Brúarreykir in Borgarfjörður. He added furthermore that nothing was found wrong with the milk or meat from his farm, however the conditions the cattle were living in.

His farm and another, Ingunnarstaðir in Reykhólahreppur, will remain closed for the time being.


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