Pig farmers in Iceland say they don’t have the money to improve the living conditions of their livestock to meet European Union standards.
As Grapevine reported, factory farming is a fact in Iceland, and applies to pigs, chickens (both for meat and eggs), beef and even lamb. The EU has its own set of regulations with regards to the treatment of livestock and, as Iceland is a part of a trade agreement with the EU, must abide these regulations. The EU has given Iceland ten years to improve the conditions of its pig farms.
Hörður Harðarson, head of the Pig Farmers’ Society of Iceland, told the Farmer’s Paper that unlike farmers within the EU, Icelandic farmers do not receive financial assistance from the EU to make these changes, and that support is going to have to come from somewhere.
A masters’ thesis from Árni Stefán Árnason has pointed out that pigs in Iceland spend the vast majority of their lives in small cages indoors, kept in almost total darkness, with anaesthetic-free castrations a common practice. There are, in fact, only ten separate pork producers in Iceland, with the largest one controlling 50% of the market.