The release of the distressing footage of animal abuse at a blood mare farm in Iceland by AWF/TSB’s (Animal Welfare Foundation/Tierschutzbund Zürich) last year has been a cause of outcry in Iceland.  

In the wake of the release of the video, the Minister of Agriculture announced they had formed a working group to review these operations with a view to reforming the relevant legislative, regulatory and administrative environment. The group published a report concluding that existing regulations on the practice were indeed inadequate and recommended the implementation of a licencing system for the practice, more stringent monitoring of horse health, grooming, and temperament assessment, as well as a review of the working methods of blood collection. The Government is currently assessing how to best implement the working group’s recommendation. The full report can be found here

The issue has caused deep concern and prompted conversations in Iceland that are likely to continue, and it has been raised in the Icelandic Parliament. These conversations are expected to progress with considerations for animal welfare held as a priority.