Arriving at Keflavík International Airport from Norway, four-year-old Chichuahua Tutzy was refused entry to Iceland due to the ongoing strike among veterinarians, who usually inspect animals arriving in the country along with the necessary permits.
Thelma Rut Magnúsdóttir, Tutzy’s owner, moved from Iceland to Norway with her dog two years ago but had decided to now move Tutzy to Iceland to live with her mother, mbl.is reports.
According to Jón Gíslason, the director of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), people who had been considering bringing animals to the country over the coming days had been informed of the strike.
Thelma, however, said she did not receive the message and was not aware of the strike as she does not closely follow Icelandic news. She said that she had gone through all the necessary preparations to move Tutzy to Iceland, including securing a spot at the quarantine station.
If an animal has the proper permit to be moved to Iceland, it is then sent to quarantine in Hrísey island, North Iceland, or Reykjanesbær, Southwest Iceland.
On arrival in Iceland around midday yesterday Thelma said she was told that she had two choices: either send Tutzy back to Norway or have her put down. She opted for the first choice.
Thelma said she applied for an exemption from the Association of Academics (BHM), the association of which the striking veterinarians are members, to have Tutzy sent back to Iceland as soon as possible but her request was rejected.
Thelma told mbl.is that it would be some time before she could bring Tutzy to Iceland again as she will now have to go through the whole process again, which she said is costly.
The ongoing strikes across various sectors in Iceland are expected to have wide-reaching effects including postponement of operations, real estate sales and a possible shortage of fresh meat.
Click here to view a photo of Tutzy.