Iceland Running out of Burgers as Vet Strike Causes Meat Crisis

A strike of veterinarians in Iceland is depriving meat lovers of their burger fix.

The Nordic island of 329,000 people is on the brink of an unprecedented shortage of fresh beef, chicken and pork because vets have stopped carrying out health inspections at slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants. Carnivores are clearing out supermarkets to hoard patties in their freezers.

“How long we’ll have meat depends on how much people hoard,” said Kristinn Skulason, the operational manager of Kronan supermarkets, in an interview. “People have started stockpiling due to concerns over meat supplies drying up.”

Skulason predicts stores can hold out until the end of the month. By early June, they’ll be in serious trouble, he said.

The crisis is the consequence of the 3,000-member Association of Academics, an umbrella association of 27 trade unions, deciding to call a national strike last month. Among their ranks are vets, midwives and lawyers. Iceland’s total workforce is 232,000 people.

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