The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority released an announcement this morning, asking that all horse owners who keep their herds outside be on the alert due to ash fall. Where there is significant ash fall all horses must be sheltered indoors.
The ash cloud at Skógar. Photo by Páll Stefánsson. Copyright: Iceland Review.
According to the weather forecast, there is most risk for ash fall in Rangárvallasýsla county in the coming days but all horse owners in south and southeast Iceland must be prepared to protect their horses.
It is dangerous for horses to breathe in the ash, drink polluted water and eat polluted fodder. Therefore all horses must be sheltered inside if they cannot be relocated to a safer area.
However, transport of mares in foal should be avoided, especially if they are due to foal within a month.
If they cannot be kept inside stables, they must be kept near buildings where they can be given clean water to drink and the fodder can be protected from the ash.
It is most important to protect one-year old foals that are growing from fluorine poisoning because they are at most risk for permanent damage to their teeth and bones.
Mares in foal are at risk of calcium deficiency in the blood which is a life-threatening condition.
Click here to learn more about the ash fall and the necessary precautions.