Polish farmers tie up roads to protest animal protection law
WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Farmers across Poland on Wednesday used their tractors to slow traffic on main roads and dump trucks in legislature's offices to protest a new law banning fur farming and religious slaughter for export of the business .
Farmers drove slowly on tractors with anti-government banners and also protested the recent overthrow of the Minister of Agriculture, who criticized the government's proposed law.
It was the first major farmers' protest against the right-wing coalition government led by the Conservative Law and Justice Party since it came to power in 2015. Farmers were the party's main electorate and identified with their generous family bonuses and traditional values.
The controversial new animal welfare law is being examined by the Senate. If approved, this would put an end to Polish fur farms and the use of animals in circuses, and prohibit religious slaughter for export.
The law created a major crisis in the ruling right-wing coalition when two small parties refused to endorse it in the lower house of parliament, saying it was bad for farmers.
Farmers have threatened more protests.
President Andrzej Duda, who has joined the Law and Justice Party, has hinted that he might oppose the law.
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