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FARMING

Angry French farmers send out distress call

Tyres were set on fire, roads were blocked and manure dumped outside supermarkets on Thursday as thousands of struggling French farmers, angry at low prices, staged protests across the country.

Angry French farmers send out distress call

After taxi drivers and ferry workers it was France's farmers who were the latest group to send a message to the French government on Thursday, when they held protests to raise awareness oftheir plight.

The protests, mainly held in the west of the country, were organised under the name “night of distress” to try to raise attention to the plight of French farmers, whether cattle breeders or dairy producers.

The farmers, fed up with low prices for their produce, held go slows on roads in the west of the country and dumped manure outside big supermarkets, who they blame for keeping prices down.

They claim the low price of pork, beef and milk doesn’t allow them to even cover their costs.

(A French farmer stands near burning tires during a demonstration in Saint-Brieuc on July 2, 2015. AFP)

(French farmers with a signs attached to their tractors that reads “Breeders in Distress” (L) and “Farmers in Distress” roles along the RN 12 between Lamballe and Saint-Brieuc, western France to protest against the low price purchase of their production. AFP)

(Earth and manure have been dumped by farmers and breeders demonstrating against the drop in prices outside a commercial center building in Rennes, northwestern France, on July 2. AFP)

(President of the French union FNSEA Xavier Belin (2ndL) sits in the shovel of a farm tractor along side other farmers on July 2, 2015, as a convoy of farm vehicles rolls along the RN 12 between Lamballe and Saint-Brieuc, western France. AFP)

(French farmers and breeders, with tractors and pigs, protest outside the prefecture of Saint-Brieuc, western France. AFP)

(Farmers put into place a sculpture to mark the 50th anniversary of “Yoplait” in the center of Vienne, central-eastern France, on July 2, 2015, to protest against the destructive politics of the company on the producers of milk. AFP)

 

 

 

 

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FARMING

French hunter kills bear that bit him

A 70-year-old hunter killed a bear in southwest France Saturday after it attacked and seriously wounded him, local officials said.

A brown bear is pictured in the semi-wildlife animal park of Les Angles, southwestern France.
Brown bears had nearly disappeared in France until the country began a reintroduction programme, importing them from Slovenia. AFP PHOTO / RAYMOND ROIG

The female bear, who was travelling with her cubs, bit him as he was hunting in the Seix region of Ariege, a source close to the case said.

Rescued by the local gendarmerie, he was transported to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Toulouse with a wound to his leg at the level of his femoral artery, officials at the prefecture in Ariege said.

One source close to the case said he was in a serious condition.

The hunter told local officials he had been out with a group of other hunters on the trail of a boar, when the female bear, who was travelling with her cubs, attacked him.

After being wounded, the hunter shot the bear twice, killing it.

The local gendarme unit was called out to rescue him at around 3:30 pm (1430 GMT). They discovered the body of the bear a few metres from where they had found the hunter.

An investigation has been opened into the incident, the prefecture in Ariege said.

One local official told AFP on Saturday: “This is really what we feared.”

“Today, you can really see that cohabitation is complicated,” said Christine Tequi, president of the Ariege department council.

The brown bear had nearly disappeared in this part of the world when France began a programme of reintroducing them, importing them from Slovenia.

Today, there are around sixty of them in the Pyrenees range, leading to increasing tensions with local farmers, because of the threat they pose to their livestock.

In 2020, three bears were illegally killed in the Pyrenees: two of them in Spain and one in France. The French government has committed to replacing any bear killed by a man.

READ ALSO: The decades-old battle between French farmers and conservationists over bears
READ ALSO: What are the most dangerous animals in France?

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