150 Cattle Taken by Authorities in Abuse Case

icelandic cows

150 cattle have been removed from a farm in Borgarfjörður by the authorities on November 14 and 15. After repeated demands by authorities that their owner improve their conditions, authorities have finally been forced to confiscate the cattle after it became clear the farmer in question would not cooperate.

Both police officers and representatives from MAST, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, were at the scene, reports RÚV.

Read more: Further Animal Abuse in Borgarfjörður

The owner in question is said to have a long history of mistreating his animals. Sheep and horses have been previously taken from the farmer to be slaughtered, as they were too maltreated to be rescued.

Some cattle confiscated in the latest episode will likewise be slaughtered, but many of the cows will be allowed to live and given new homes.

Ellen Ruth Ingimundsdóttir, district veterinarian for Southwest Iceland, stated that such cases are very difficult for all involved: “It’s a long and difficult story. We decided that it was no longer possible to give deadlines that weren’t met […] We don’t take animals from people just because we want to. We need to follow the law and we need to do this in consultation with locals so that it doesn’t hurt the animals. That’s why it has also taken a long time.”

Ellen additionally thanked those farmers who will be receiving the remaining cows, which are headed to barns with better pasture and conditions.


Further Animal Abuse from Borgarförður Farmer Already Implicated Earlier this Year

icelandic cows

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, MAST, is taking action against the same farmer responsible for a case of animal abuse against horses earlier this year. The current case concerns cattle in Borgarfjörður that have been reportedly abused. According to information from MAST, the livestock are no longer in the farmer’s custody.

According to RÚV, neighbours of the farm have complained about conditions on the farm, saying that the animals have inadequate water and shelter against the elements.

Read More: Animal Abuse Raises Questions of MAST’s Role

According to the neighbours, livestock on the farm are often locked inside for long periods, and the cattle that are seen outside are often malnourished to the point of deformity.

The owner of the cattle in question has also been reported as having a difficult relationship with his neighbours in past, with some saying that he has shown threatening behaviour.

Now, according to MAST, the livestock are in a better facility.

According to the neighbour interviewed by RÚV, the livestock in question had been locked inside for nearly three years.