In 2012 roughly 50 civilians reported possible cases of animal abuse to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority. This jumped up to 50 complaints per month in 2013, reports RÚV.
Chief Veterinary Officer Sigurborg Daðadóttir told RÚV that the incidents of actual abuse had not gone up but rather more people were aware of and concerned for animal welfare.
Very few of last year’s complaints dealt with the mistreatment of pigs and chickens and Sigurborg suggests this could be down to lack of public access. She told RÚV that in many respects Iceland is behind Europe when it comes to animal welfare in the farming industry.
“There is a lot of room for improvement [when it comes to farming in Iceland],” Sigurborg said. “And I think there is will to change this. But we are behind [Europe] when it comes to caging chickens for example. Chickens are still caged in Iceland but this practice has been stopped in many places across Europe. The same is true of pig farming, we are behind there too.”