Friday 5/20/22
ECONOMY

Thousands of farmers protest against Spain's agricultural policies

Spain is one of the largest agricultural producers in Western Europe

23 January 2022, Spain, Madrid: Demonstrators hold banners during a protest under the name of the 'Great Demonstration of the Rural World' against the government's agricultural, environmental and animal welfare policies. Photo: Alejandro Martínez Vélez/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
Demonstrators hold banners during a protest under the name of the 'Great Demonstration of the Rural World' against the government's agricultural, environmental and animal welfare policies. Photo: Alejandro Martínez Vélez/dpa.

Thousands of farmers protested against the government's agricultural policy in Spain on Sunday.

Farmers and cattle breeders marched along the boulevards Paseo de la Castellana and Paseo del Prado in Madrid before gathering in front of the Agriculture Ministry. Many attended the rally on tractors or horseback, or in carts pulled by oxen and donkeys.

"Agriculture is dying," lamented Carlos Bueno, secretary general of the Alma Rural campaign group that organized the protest.

Some 6,000 people joined the rally, according to government figures, although Alma Rural said there had been "tens of thousands."

Bueno criticized the government's agricultural, environmental and animal welfare policies, saying they "are hurting us a lot."

Alma Rural has called for better promotion of goods produced in Spain and a ban on food imports from countries where the rules are less strict.

Demands to relax legislation

It also wants animal husbandry and hunting laws to be relaxed so farmers can fight wolves that kill 21,000 cattle every year, causing 9 million euros (10 million dollars) worth of damage, the organization said.

Conservative and right-wing populist parties back the organization, and opposition leader Pablo Casado said farmers, ranchers and fishermen "should no longer be despised" in a tweet.

Spain is one of the largest agricultural producers in Western Europe.

Some 800,000 people work in the country's agricultural and livestock sector, according to official figures.

Thousands of farmers protest against Spain's agricultural policies
Comments