Iceland may begin exporting live sheep for the first time in over 100 years, RÚV reports.
Icelandic sheep farmers had been exporting live sheep to England from the Middle Ages up until 1896, when a ban on such exporting was put in place. The trade had been lucrative, though, and the British had paid for the sheep in gold.
Now the exporting of live sheep may begin again, only not to Britain but to Turkey.
Turks slaughter about 62 million sheep each year, second only to China in total sheep consumption. Turkish meat traders came to Iceland last week and expressed in interest in purchasing sheep for export.
If permitted, anywhere from 4,000 to 18,000 sheep can expect to take the journey by ship from Iceland to Turkey. On board, the sheep will feed on newly-hewn grass and fresh water.
However, the ban on exporting live sheep has been in place for so long that authorities in Iceland still have to assess whether or not to do so would be in harmony with agricultural regulations.
Foreign interest in Icelandic lamb meat has reportedly never been greater than it has been lately. It is not yet known how much the Turks are willing to pay for the sheep.
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