I never thought I would write a headline like that. I didn’t realize there could be 4000 angry shepherds in the world.
But there are in Romania, where sheep farming is the backbone of the rural countryside, home to some 10 million sheep. And they are plenty pissed off at the government. (the shepherds, not the sheep) Some traveled as far as 300 miles to join the protest, many dressed in full length sheepskin.
But they didn’t bring the dogs.
It seems Romania’s lawmakers passed a law restricting the number of Sheepdogs that can be used and banning them from grazing the sheep in winter.
The laws were introduced by supporters of hunting, a popular pastime among the elite. They maintain that the large Carpathian Sheepdogs kill too many large animals like deer and boar that are favorites of hunters, and grazing was bad for the environment.
The law says shepherds must use a single dog for grazing on flat land, 2 for hills and 3 for mountains. Any more than that and the dogs can be killed. The shepherds maintain they need 10 dogs for mountain flocks and an average of 5 to 6 for sheep grazing on the plain.
The legislators were alarmed by the unprecedented angry protest and backed down, asking the prime minister to modify the law. Since the law had already been voted on, he could do little to change it, but promised to find a legal solution.
In the meantime the shepherds have returned to their flocks and it’s doubtful they will have to confront the lawmakers again. Carpathian Sheepdogs can weigh up to 100 pounds and are suspicious of strangers.
Grigore Popa, 68, waved a big stick and shouted: "I was born among the sheep and we will cut lawmakers' heads off." Source
If there is a next time they will bring the dogs.