Pig Farms Under Scrutiny - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Pig Farms Under Scrutiny

Published October 2, 2015

Photos by
Stephen Fulljames/Wikimedia Commons

Icelandic pig farms have been in the critical spotlight since photos were released showing pigs in cramped conditions. Farmers say the photos show an exception rather than the general state of things, but starting today pig farmers are obliged to follow new rules and regulations on the treatment of their animals.

RÚV was first to break the story, publishing photos showing pigs in stalls that are clearly too small for them to even move, but did not disclose the name of the farm where the photos were taken. No pig farm has come forward to answer for them, either.

Furthermore, investigations conducted by the Icelandic Food And Veterinary Authority (MAST) have shown that there were pigs with pressure sores, caused by laying on the same spot for too long, at every farm they visited.

The photos have spread like wildfire across Icelandic social media, sparking criticism from consumers and animal rights advocates alike.

Geir Gunnar Geirsson, the managing director of pork producers Stjörnugrís, told Stundin that the stalls shown in the released photos are actually rare in Iceland, and that most pigs have plenty of room to move around.

In the meantime, MAST has announced that the so-called “adjustment period” for pig farmers to begin abiding new rules and regulations for the space and movement of their animals has run out, and they should have adopted them by now. New inspections of pig farms will soon follow.

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