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France Agriculture Economy Protests Demonstration Meat Supermarket Food Farming

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Protesting French livestock farmers change strategy: dump live pigs in supermarkets

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Getty Images/StockImage/Ronald Wittek

After several days of blocking access to motorways, including access to southeastern city of Lyon yesterday and the western region of Normandy last week, protesting livestock farmers' new strategy targets manufacture and supply plants. More than 400 farmers using an estimated 70 tractors carried out their actions Thursday night in supermarkets and factories around France.


Shoppers in supermarkets were confused as pigs were let loose in supermarkets in the southwest of France.

French television station iTele tweeted a video of the pigs as they wandered through the supermarket in Agen Wednesday.

In addition to the supermarkets in Lot and in Garonne in the south west of France, farmers targeted dairy companies in Loire-Atlantique and dairy factories in Pas-de-Calais, among others.

These actions demonstrate a sharp rejection of President François Hollande's aid package of 600 million euros to help livestock farmers stay afloat.

The current situation is "impossible" for livestock farmers, says Philippe Chotteau, head of the economics department at the Institut d'Elevage, who carries out survey market trends on meat and dairy products on a national and global scale.

Meat and dairy farmers, unlike crop farmers, have been swamped in debts as falling pork, beef and dairy prices have prevented them from breaking even, let alone cover production costs, he told RFI.