IN PICTURES: Champs-Elysées hit by hay fever as French farmers protest

Around 250 French farmers covered part of the Champs-Elysées avenue in hay early on Friday morning in order to give president Emmanuel Macron a "wake-up call".

IN PICTURES: Champs-Elysées hit by hay fever as French farmers protest

Images showed around 250 farmers, lying down on bails of hay as they blocked part of the famous avenue in Paris from before sunrise. 

Paris police advised motorists to stay away from the Concorde / Champs-Elysées sector. Riot police surrounded the farmers and their reports of tensions rising between the two groups.

“Macron is killing farmers” was one of the slogans they shouted hoping to “wake up” the president to the plight. Whilesome farmers protested, another delegation was due to meet Macron at the Elysée Palace.

Farmers in France regularly stage protest stunts on the capital's most famous avenue and Friday's action was in protest against Macron's desire to ban the use of glyphosate – a herbicide that has been linked to health dangers including cancer.

The herbicide is the mostly commonly used in Europe, but Macron has signalled his intention to seek a ban on the product, which is an ingredient of Round-up, the weedkiller sold by Monsanto.

The EU has suggested renewing the authorization for glyphosate for a further 10 years but a vote will take place in October and France has said it will oppose the move.

“Mr Macron wants to be the the world's Mr Clean but he is the gravedigger of agriculture,” said Frédéric Arnoult, president of Young Farmers union.

“How can we want to sell the dream to the French of a healthy diet, while they take away our means of production?”, he asked.




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.

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