Exotic animals flopped in Norway

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Expensive attempts to create new business for Norwegian farmers by setting them up with such exotic animals as llamas and ostriches have fallen flat. Now there are hardly any of the animals left in the country.

The state spent hundreds of millions of kroner back in the late 1990s supporting farmers’ efforts to make money off everything from the llamas’ wool, to tourism and ostrich meat. They all failed, for all kinds of reasons, reports newspaper Aftenposten.

Some farmers tried to attract tourists with their llamas, but weren’t successful. Others found out that few local slaughterhouses could handle ostriches, while the state also allowed imports of much cheaper ostrich meat from Africa. 

State officials from the farmer-friendly Center Party, which champions funds to farmers and rural areas in Norway, admit their attempt at creating new “niche markets” with the exotic animals didn’t work.

“But it’s important to try,” State Secretary Ola T Heggem told Aftenposten. “We must be clever at creating new niches and new jobs within agriculture. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

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