Farmers bring flocks of sheep to the Eiffel Tower in protest against the government's protection of wolves, complaining that they are kill too many animals. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Farmers released sheep under the Eiffel Tower on Thursday (November 27) in protest against the government's policy on protecting wolves, complaining that they are killing too many of their animals. There are estimated to be between 250 and 300 wolves currently living in France divided into around 20 packs. The first recent attack on livestock by a wolf was recorded in 1993, and the number of animals killed continues to rise as the population of wolves grows and they begin to colonize greater areas of land, according to the French National Ovine Federation. Today, 28 French departments are affected by wolves, up from just 11 in 2009, with the number of animals killed now exceeding 8,000 in total, they said. To demonstrate the problem to the public the farmers brought a number of young lambs whose mothers have been killed by wolves, meaning that they have to be hand-fed. Farmers managed to successfully eliminate the wolf from France earlier in the 20th century, but since their return they have been listed as a protected species by the French government, meaning that hunting them is strictly controlled and usually limited to cases of self-defense or the defense of a flock if an attack is imminent. The number of wolves in France increases by about 20% each year, and the farmers are asking for permission to actively control this growth and push back the wolves into areas which are not used to rear animals. Another protest took place outside the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.