MPs for the Independence Party and the Progressives voted against a change to agricultural laws that would have cut off subsidies to farmers who have been found guilty of serious or repeated animal abuse.
Stundin reports that the proposed change came from Left-Green MP Lilja Rafney Magnúsdóttir, who suggested the addition of one sentence to the existing legislation:
“Authorities have the power to remove subsidy payments to those who have severely or repeatedly violated the law on animal welfare.”
21 of Iceland’s 63 MPs voted in favour of the change, representing every MP of Bright Future, the Pirate Party, the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens who were present, in addition to Independence Party MP Elín Hirst.
Four Independence Party MPs – Birgir Ármannsson, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Ragnheiður Ríkharðsdóttir and Sigríður Á. Andersen – all abstained, along with Progressive MP Jóhanna María Sigmundsdóttir.
However, the remaining 26 – all from the Independence Party and the Progressive Party – voted against the legislative change, ultimately defeating the measure. None of these MPs rose to the podium to explain their reasons for their vote.
Animal welfare made headlines last year when it came to light that every single pig farm in Iceland fell short in one way or the other when it came to the care and upkeep of these animals. Since then, some improvements have been made, but there is still a ways to go before they all completely fulfill legal requirements for animal welfare.