Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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Shepherds leading more than 1800 sheep arrived at the Spanish capital, to promote the conservation of the ancient paths of transhumance (moving flocks from winter to summer pastures). (AFP/Oscar del Pozo)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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A flock of sheep walks past Madrid's Cityhall during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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A flock of sheep walks past Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s famous landmark, during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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Shepherds guided sheep through the Madrid streets in defence of ancient grazing and migration rights that seem increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and modern agricultural practices. (AP/Paul White)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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A child touches a sheep during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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A shepherd herds his sheep as flocks of sheep and goats crossed the city center of Madrid on October 20, 2019. (AFP/Oscar del Pozo)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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A flock of sheep walks past Madrid's City Hall during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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Livestock are driven through the streets of central Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP/Paul White)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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A police officer speaks on her radio as a flock of sheep pass through central Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP/Paul White)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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Flocks of sheep and goats are herded in the city center of Madrid on October 20, 2019. (AFP/Oscar del Pozo)
Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
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A man stands behind fences as a flock of sheep walks past during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
Updated 20 October 2019

Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration
  • The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock
  • The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats

MADRID: Sheep replaced traffic on the streets of Madrid on Sunday as shepherds steered their flocks through the heart of the Spanish capital, following ancient migration routes.
The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock from northern Spain to more southerly pastures for winter grazing.
The route would have taken them through undeveloped countryside a few centuries ago, but today it cuts through Madrid’s bustling city center and along some of its most famous streets.
Sheep farmers pay a nominal charge in symbolic acknowledgement of a 1418 agreement with the city council that set a fee of 50 maravedis — medieval coins — per 1,000 sheep brought through the central Sol square and Gran Via street.
The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats.