Greece: Animal farmers slaughter livestock

Greek livestock breeders are counting the losses – by 25% the number has decreased in just one year. Breeders began to slaughter sheep and goats to secure their financial future.

The pandemic, rising inflation and the war that Russia declared on Ukraine three months ago led to an immediate increase in production costs, putting farmers in a very difficult position.

Breeders are sounding the alarm because the cost of meat production is especially high and their own situation is disappointing. The reduction in livestock means at the same time that local meat will become more expensive, notes Greece has been experiencing a pandemic for two years now, which has left its mark on all aspects of economic life.

The “test of strength” went on for two years, as a result of which many breeders simply decided to reduce the number of livestock in order to ensure their financial stability.

“We have a high production cost. It is for this reason that many breeders limit their livestock. The price of animal feed has increased by 40% and farmers are slaughtering their animals to survive,” says livestock breeder Mr. Daskalakis.

Breeders, to ensure the viability of their profession, turned to the slaughter of lambs. It began to be implemented, starting from the north of Greece, and now they have moved to Crete. The slaughter of lambs reduces the cost of production.

Mr. Papadakis, head of the Mylopotamos Livestock Association, says: “There has been a significant reduction in the number of livestock in Crete, by 25% compared to last year. Breeders cannot afford existing prices. As President of the Mylopotamos Animal Breeders Association, I declare that here in Crete we feed the animals 365 days a year.”

The average Cretan breeder feels frustrated and desperate in everything he encounters, as mentioned by Nikos Daskalakis. There are many problems, and the state is not an ally, but an enemy. “Now we are in a very bad situation. Most of the feed was from Ukraine. The raw material is barley, and in general the cost of feed has reached unprecedented levels. Petroleum products are also expensive for us. We have many problems. We are experiencing incredible despair, we just give up. Added to all our problems is the state “cutting” of 40% of the subsidies to which we are entitled. The taxes are too high. There is now an open question in the Cretan countryside that a large number of livestock farmers are likely to eventually abandon the primary production sector,” said Mr. Daskalakis.

The acute problem is related to the impact that the reduction in the number of livestock will have on overall economic activity. It is expected that local meat products will rise in price, which will “pull along” the problem with the production of milk. According to economist Yiannis Nikiforos, the reduction in livestock means a simultaneous reduction in the supply of local milk.

“A reduction in livestock is a decrease in the amount of product. It will also affect other areas of economic activity. The food chain will close. There will be problems with dairy production, as well as with local meat products. Animal feed purchases will drop, he said, adding: “Meat will become more expensive as supply is limited. It is unlikely that it will be replaced by imported ones, which will ultimately affect the quality of the product.”

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