Hundreds of tons of imported meat are being stored at the docks in Sundahöfn in Reykjavík but cannot be moved on to meat processing plants because veterinarians are on strike. Slaughtering of most Icelandic animals has also come to a halt. If the strike continues, there will be no more ground beef or frozen chicken in stores next week.
“We will have enough ground beef this week. However, it’s very likely that the ground beef will be finished in the country at the end of next week. The situation is severe and I know that some meat processing plants have started experimenting with hamburgers made with lamb,” Guðmundur Gíslason, managing director of Kjötmarkaðurinn, told Vísir.
Managing director of Bónus supermarkets Guðmundur Marteinsson said some meat products are no longer available at his stores and that more products will be lacking next week.
“Fresh chicken is unavailable and as of next weekend the frozen chicken will be finished. Beef will also be finished and so we will only be able to offer fish, lamb and pork for the BBQ,” Guðmundur stated.
Pork farmers are concerned about the situation and accuse veterinarians of ignoring animal welfare. As pigs cannot be slaughtered, farms are becoming overcrowded.
“We pork farmers are just a third party in this wage dispute and we cannot negotiate with veterinarians. However, we are the ones who suffer financially from the strike,” said farmer Andrés Kristinsson in Eyjafjörður, North Iceland.
Veterinarians are among many other members of the Association of Academics (BHM) who are currently on strike, including healthcare professionals. Further strikes are coming up.