Massive Sheep Death Could Be Linked To Holuhraun - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Massive Sheep Death Could Be Linked To Holuhraun

Published June 11, 2015

Photos by
Matthew Eisman

The mysterious and widespread sheep death may be attributed to poisoning from the Holuhraun eruption.

RÚV reports that there is research now underway to see if the recent sickening and dying off of hundreds of sheep across Iceland can be attributed to the Holuhraun eruption.

The situation is so grave, in fact, that an exception to the ongoing veterinarians strike was made just to devote people to researching the cause of the sheep death. One of the more disturbing symptoms of the illness that have come to light is that no matter how much the sheep eat, they do not seem to get any nourishment.

Blood samples have already been taken from sheep across the country to be tested, but Holuhraun is a major suspect. The eruption emits numerous toxins, amongst them sulphur dioxide and fluoride, which can end up on hay or be breathed in by the animals, poisoning them.

As reported, hundreds of sheep have mysteriously died recently, for no reason that was immediately apparent to farmers or veterinarians. Svavar Halldórsson, chairperson of the National Association of Sheep Farmers, told reporters that the deaths have “been a heavy weight on our farmers, to miss so many animals.”

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