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Italian farmers use sheep to protest


Italy

Italian farmers use sheep to protest

Italian farmers from earthquake-ravaged regions have taken to the streets of Rome to protest what they say are serious delays in reconstruction efforts.

To bring their message home, the farmers penned in several sheep that were rescued from tremor-struck areas while some waved flags and held banners which read, “bureaucracy is more deadly than earthquakes”.

Roberto Moncalvo, the leader of farmer’s association Coldiretti told reporters:

“This just shows us that bureaucracy has got in the way of everything that could have been done over the last months, thus further impairing farms where more than 10,000 cattle have died in six months. This plague (bureaucracy) has to be removed in order to tackle the emergency.”

Tremors have continued to rock central regions since a major earthquake hit Amatrice last August. The worst affected places include Lazio, Marche, Abruzzo and Umbria. Cold weather and lack of shelter has led to further losses.

Prime Minister Gentiloni has approved a draft law to help those affected, including 35 million euros to compensate farmers for lost income. The law also aims to make it easier for regional governments to buy temporary stalls. Farmers say about 85 percent of their livestock need shelter.

The agriculture ministry said the process of releasing emergency funds to farmers is under way.

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