Sheep replace traffic in the heart of Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) – Sheep replaced the usual traffic in central Madrid on Sunday as shepherds steered hundreds of the animals through the Spanish capital to proclaim their right to use ancient migration routes.

Every year since 1994, sheep farmers have paraded their livestock through the city, along a route that once cut through undeveloped countryside on their way to winter grazing pastures in southern Spain.

Sheep farmers pay a symbolic charge in acknowledgement of a 1418 agreement with the city council that set a fee of 50 maravedis – medieval copper coins – per 1,000 sheep brought through the central Sol square and Gran Via street.

Reporting by Silvio Castellanos and Michael Gore, writing by Isla Binnie; editing by John Stonestreet

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