French back on streets in quest for BSEaction

16 February 2001

French back on streets in quest for BSEaction

FRENCH farmers returned to the streets this week as they staged a series of protests about their governments handling of the BSE crisis and the lack of compensation for lost income.

Organised by main farm union, the FNSEA, the young farmers union and the federations for beef and milk producers, action included barricading public buildings and blocking the roads.

In Caen, department of agriculture employees were refused access to their offices on Monday and Tuesday by farmers using bales of straw and heaps of manure. Similar tactics were employed outside the city council building in Rouen.

Farmers also occupied a supermarket and abattoir in Brest, demanding an explanation for the fall in beef sales and insufficient labelling. Meanwhile, in Dijon about 50 beef producers broke down the gates of the local Prefects residence to pass on their grievances face-to-face.

And in Partheny, western France, all routes out of the town were blocked by tractors and trailers, bringing traffic to a standstill. Further action was planned for the Massif Central region yesterday (Thursday).

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