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France

Farmers release sheep at Eiffel Tower in anti-wolf protest

Sheep farmers protest in front of Eiffel Tower
Sheep farmers protest in front of Eiffel Tower Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

Sheep farmers protesting against wolves in France released around 300 sheep at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on Thursday.

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Wolves were re introduced to France in the 1990s in the Parc Mercantour, a national reserve in the southwest.

Farmers want to be able to kill more wolves than the 24 currently authorised to keep the numbers stable.

Jacques Courron, a sheep farmer whose land borders the Parc Mercantour, says 60 of his sheep have been killed since January and just as many have gone missing, despite the special security measures he has put in place.

Jean-Paul Comte of the FNSEA agricultural workers union says farmers now fear to go into certain parts of the forest and trees are growing where sheep used to roam.

Meanwhile those in favour of the re introduction of the wolf, point out that farmers are well compensated when their livestock are killed.

They maintain that predatory animals are a necessary part of the ecosystem and the country’s natural heritage.
 

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