28 October 1998
Police use tear gas on French pig men

HUNDREDS of angry French pig farmers clashed with police in the town of Quimper in Brittany yesterday (Tuesday).

Police used tear gas against farmers who set fire to dustbins and hurled stones and bottles outside the Quimper prefecture.

The farmers have been hit by the collapse of their markets in the former Soviet Union and Japan, and want the Government to compensate them for a sudden fall in pork prices.

French farmers are selling pigs for around 55p/kg, which they claim covers only half their costs.

Brittany is particularly hard hit by the collapse of prices. It has a total stock of 60 million and accounts for almost 60% of Frances pig production.

The protestors want the state to grant them emergency subsidies, reduce their social charges and allow them to delay repayment of certain loans. They are now threatening to withhold taxes.

But pig farming has begun to attract hostility in the country from people who complain about pollution from pig slurry.

  • The Daily Telegraph 28/10/98 page 19