Dairy Farming Protests Get Violent

BRUSSELS, Oct. 6 (UPI) — Dairy farmers in Brussels lit fires in the streets and hurled eggs to protest low milk prices, during an emergency meeting of Europe’s agriculture ministers.

Farmers used cattle and tractors to blockade city streets and dumped milk to signify the prices they received did not justify shipping the product to processors, The New York Times reported.

While farmers have protested low prices for months, the anger overflowed Tuesday after the emergency meeting failed to come up with a solution beyond setting up a committee to study the dairy industry, the Times said.

“There’s a very serious crisis in the milk sector. We didn’t take any decisions today, but we identified areas where the future policy needs to concentrate on,” said Swedish agriculture minister, Eskil Erlandsson.

The European Milk Board said about 5,000 people participated in the protest. “More than 80,000 dairy farmers” are getting paid prices 75 percent below production costs, the group said.

In the past year, prices for milk in Europe have dropped 30 percent, the milk board said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | People
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