Vets Still Working To Solve Mysterious Sheep Death Problem - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Vets Still Working To Solve Mysterious Sheep Death Problem

Published July 10, 2015

Photos by
Ragna Guðmundsdóttir

Veterinarians hope to have answers by the end of the month on what is killing so many of Iceland’s sheep.

According to a statement issued by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), it is still unknown what has killed thousands of sheep across the country. However, testing on sheep blood samples sent to Norway should be concluded by the end of the month, hopefully shedding light on the mystery.

MAST estimates that just over 4,000 sheep died last winter, according to a poll they conducted of sheep farmers – twice the number which died the winter before. They also report that most of these sheep apparently died of starvation, despite having more than enough to eat, and eating plenty.

As reported, possible causes of death include the Holuhraun eruption, which did spew forth massive quantities of sulphur dioxide and flouride. Both of these are toxic, and may have affected the health of sheep across Iceland.


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