Thousands of sheep farmers have descended to central Lyon with their flocks at toe, to express their anger at the recent increased wolf attacks, as reported by the telegraph.
An estimated 1,500 farmers descended onto the streets on Monday, as they voiced their concerns for the 800,000 sheep in the area. World numbers in the South West region of France have increased to 360 since their reintroduction in the 1990’s.
The farmers and sheep tool to the square in Lyon on Monday afternoon , requesting that sheep in the Aveyron region be allowed to graze freely. The sheep in the area require this,as part of the title to go with producing roquefort. Roquefort is the local blue cheese, made from free range sheep milk and famed for its salty taste.
The farmers claim the area has become a “pantry for the wolf”, with over 8,000 livestock to have been reportedly killed in the country due to wolf attacks last year. These occurred mainly in the South West of the country and sheep were the worst affected animals.
This year so far animal death numbers due to attacks are currently at 4,153 in the area, with a significant increase in the Aveyron area this year. Attacks in the region have increased from 16 last year to 50 so far this year.
Farmers hope that protesting will lead to the granting for a wolf cull of over 40 animals nationwide by July 2018. France already have a wolf plan in place, with 32 wolves shot in organised hunts.