There were woolly scenes in Berlin on Sunday as shepherds marched a 200-strong flock of sheep through the city centre to call attention to the importance of sheep farming.
The unusual protest began at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt contemporary arts centre in the Tiergarten park and ran past the park's famous victory column to the Hansaplatz square, where a rally was held.
Knut Kucznik, chairman of the Berlin-Brandenburg Sheep Breeding Association, said that many shepherds could barely make a living from their work. He demanded better prices for domestic sheep products such as wool as well as more state support.
In Germany, flocks of sheep are mainly used for landscape conservation on a total of around 430,000 hectares. They preserve habitats for certain plants and insects and prevent the areas from becoming wild. Sheep are also useful for coastal and flood protection, for example by helping to stabilise the ground on dikes.
Kucznik said the shearing of sheep - formerly a major source of income for shepherds - no longer generates any money because the price of wool has fallen so sharply.
Kucznik looks after a flock of sheep in Altlandsberg, east of Berlin. Five of them will be extending their trip to the big city, staying on Hansaplatz for a month.
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