Israel may see shortage of beef, chicken, fish

The Health Ministry's vets are striking because of pay issues, conditions of work and not enough manpower.

Butcher in Jerusalem ahead of Independence Day. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Butcher in Jerusalem ahead of Independence Day.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israel may experience a shortage of beef, chicken and fish in the near future as a result of a strike by the Health Ministry’s food service veterinarians that began on Wednesday.

The vets are striking in protest of their salaries and are demanding higher pay, better conditions and more manpower. The Health Ministry said that the strike “is illegal and causing great damage” saying that it was working to solve the issue.

“The strike is planned to continue so long as the heads in the Health Ministry prevent an organized meeting with the heads of the Association of Veterinary Doctors in Israel to discuss the low pay and the conditions of the striking vets as well as manpower which is lessening from week to week,” wrote the vets in a message to the Health Ministry.

The vets warned the Health Ministry in the summer

Chairman of the Association of Veterinary Doctors in Israel Dr. Michael Ettinger said that the Health Ministry was warned about the manpower issue a few months ago.

 Black Iron's wagyu beef (credit: ASSAF KERALA) Black Iron's wagyu beef (credit: ASSAF KERALA)

"In the summer, we warned that there are only 13 vets in this unit upon whom shoulders are thrown tasks that were intended for many dozens of people."

Dr. Michael Ettinger

Three vets have already quit because of the conditions, he said.

“Today, I send my genuine apologies to the food importers in Israel who are stuck with food in the ports that cannot be released,” he said. “And yet, I call to you importers, don’t make do with just a WhatsApp message of support for our cause. Go out in public and testify about the state of things at the ports.”