Sheep and goat farmers in Cyprus staged a demonstration outside the Presidential Palace in Nicosia on Wednesday, spilling milk and setting hay on fire while some protesters spoke out against any changes in halloumi legislation.
According to local media, livestock breeders gathered outside the presidential palace before noon on Wednesday to speak against any changes in legislation regarding the PDO production of halloumi cheese, the country’s traditional cheese.
'I can change my religion, I can change my homeland, but I’ll never change my occupation that I had since I was five years old'
Videos from the scene showed protesters spilling gallons of milk just outside the entrance of the Presidential Palace, while stacks of hay were set on fire.
There were no statements before the start of the demonstration but reporters broadcasting live said protesters were upset over rising prices and a failure to implement PDO legislation for halloumi.
The demonstration comes a day after local media said authorities found that one in five packages of the island’s traditional cheese sold in supermarkets did not meet the required standards for Product of Designation of Origin.
Breeders have been speaking against rising prices and had recently called on the Anastasiades administration to implement without delay legislation concerning halloumi as a PDO.
“I can change my religion, I can change my homeland, but I’ll never change my occupation that I had since I was five years old,” an angry protester told a TV reporter.
Breeders have also been asking for immediate financial support from the state, citing rising process in cereals and animal feed.