Romanian shepherds stage parliament protest over grazing curbs

by Reuters
Tuesday, 15 December 2015 15:53 GMT

BUCHAREST, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Thousands of Romanian farmers and shepherds stormed through the gates of parliament in the capital Bucharest on Tuesday in protest at new regulations that will curtail their grazing rights and other activity.

The new rules, included in a hunting bill passed by parliament, will prohibit shepherds from taking their livestock to pasture from December to April and limit the use of sheep dogs to no more than three at a time.

More than 2,000 farmers protested in a park outside parliament, then stormed through the gates into the courtyard, ringing bells, blowing whistles and shouting "Thieves!"

Farmers' representatives met with lawmakers who later asked the government to issue an emergency ruling to eliminate those provisions of the bill that harmed shepherds' activities.

Government spokesman Dan Suciu said the cabinet could not amend an already approved law initiated and passed directly through parliament, but he said ministers were meeting farmers to try to find a solution.

"We can find another legal formula to incorporate specifically the demands they make," Suciu told reporters. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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