It has become clear since the volcanic action under the glacial mountain Eyjafjallajökull that farmers in the area are experiencing great loss. A couple of farms, situated closest to the glacier, the ash is covering everything like a concrete blanket. This is both a great financial and of course an emotional damage for the farmers. Clearly the fields lying under the ash will not be harvested this summer.
Thankfully, events did not prove as dangerous as they looked in the beginning in this area and it looks like the farmers were able to transport their horses to another location if they could not put them into shelter from the falling ash. Although we have news of a few farmers who had to have their horses, along with other livestock put down, because they were not able to put them into shelter.
Presently, the good news is that the volcanic action in Eyjafjallajöull has diminished and there is hardly any ash falling anymore, according to new release of mbl.is. Still, there are no signs pointing towards the end of the volcanic action and it is hard to predict the future, as there is a lot of action according the earthquake meters.
According to the vet, it is primarily pregnant mares and young horses, which are sensitive to the ash and it is important to keep in mind the long term affects which fluoride in the ash and damaging particles carried by the wind can have contaminating both water and grass and therefore becoming dangerous for the animals.
Fluoride will, first and foremost get into the bones and teeth and large amounts of fluoride in the body can cause lack of calcium, because of its nature to bind the calcium and inhibits its growth. And the immediate poisoning of fluoride will often lead to variable lameness because of damage in the cartilage and muscular connections in the joints. Another consequence of an immediate poisoning is because inhaling ash into the digestive tracts can be damaging to them, as well as other organs, such as kidneys and liver.
The ash is very dangerous to inhale, both for humans and horses and should not be inhaled into the lunges and can possibly cause asthma with people many years after the lungs were exposed.
The notes here below are released by the Food Institute because of the volcano and falling ash which is still relevant and are never repeated too often:
“Keep animals away from the falling ash, or move them to another location if possible”.
“Make sure that the animals have clean drinking water. Make sure that the water supply is clean and see to that surface water does not get into their drinking water. Have running water accessible to the animals staying out in the field.
”For animals out in the field it is important to feed them with lots of good hey and salt stone, keeping them away from the pasture if possible. Make necessary arrangements so that ash does not fall into their feed.”
“Make sure that ash does not get into the stables or where animals are being kept.”
“Same rules apply for pets and other animals, it is important to keep them away from drinking stagnant water and the animals should be kept inside as much as possible."
Danger of flood:
“Evaluate the conditions and decide whether the animals are better off inside the barn our outside of it.”
“Ensure as much as possible that animals out in the pasture can run away should there be flood.”
Accidents or sickness:
“Contact the vet should animals get hurt or become ill. Vets have as much access to those who need them, should that situation occur.