Published September 19, 2012
Hundreds or possibly thousands of sheep may have perished in unseasonably harsh weather that hit northern Iceland last week.
As reported, high winds and snow swept across north Iceland on the 10th, downing power lines across the region. In the meantime, rescue workers attempted to find and rescue hundreds of sheep lost due to weather conditions. About 250 rescuers, using jeeps, snowmobiles, four-wheelers and other rescue equipment, managed to move hundreds of sheep south from areas of poor weather.
While many of the sheep were recovered, Vísir now reports, hundreds or possibly thousands are either dead, lost or both.
The problem is not so much a matter of sheep farmers taking a loss, but rather one of disposal. There are strict guidelines in place in Iceland for the disposal of dead sheep. By law, they are supposed to be taken to a waste disposal centre to be burned. However, the two official centres for burning dead sheep in the area – despite the massive losses farmers have taken – have not reported any sheep being brought to them.
How the disaster will affect the price of lamb – and next year’s sheep population – has still not been fully assessed.