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Animal activists urge Xmas islands boycott over sheep cull

(ANSA) – ROME, NOV 25 – An Italian animal rights group on
Thursday called for a boycott of the Giglio and Elba islands
over a cull of mouflon sheep which ha started on the former and
may well spread to the latter.
   
“We urge all Italian and foreign tourists to boycott these two
islands for the Christmas holidays and we urge those who have
booked to cancel their reservations,” said the Italian
Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment
(AIDA&A).
   
“They are killing the mouflons first on Giglio and then almost
certainly on the island of Elba where the mouflons who could die
are much more than those on Giglio island”, said the
association.
   
Two other animal rights groups, the Associazione Vitadacani and
the Network of Sanctuaries for Free Animals, appealed to
“citizens, associations and volunteers to spontaneously and
personally go to (Giglio) island to permanently guards its
territory and post watch to prevent the massacre”.
   
They said selected hunters had already started shooting the 30
or so mouflons on the island, which like Elba is off Tuscany.
   
“Yesterday on Giglio they started shooting. At the moment four
mouflons have already been killed by the hunters chosen by the
Tuscan Archipelago Park to exterminate the last scarce group of
animals, 30 or so present on the island.
   
“The Park is therefore going ahead with the eradication of this
species despite all the protests and the many statements of
willingness to transfer and welcome the animals in sanctuaries
and wild-animal recovery centres outside the island”.
   
The groups have written to the environmental panel of the
European Parliament to stop the cull.
   
In their appeal to the EP’s environment committee, activists
including the anti-vivisection league LAV say the argument that
the sheep are threatening the island’s fragile agricultural
system is false.
   
They say Giglio’s farmers have themselves recognised this.
   
The mouflon is a wild sheep native to the Caspian region from
eastern Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan to Iran, which has spread to
Italian islands including Sardinia.
   
It is thought to be the ancestor of all modern domestic sheep
breeds. (ANSA).
   

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