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Spanish shepherds lead 5,000 sheep through Madrid

I can't help but think about the contrast between this parade of sheep in Madrid, and the end of the cattle drive in Gary, South Dakota that we PhotoBlogged yesterday.

AP reports:

MADRID — Spanish shepherds led flocks of sheep through the streets of downtown Madrid on Sunday in defense of ancient grazing, migration and droving rights threatened by urban sprawl and man-made frontiers.

Jesus Garzon, president of a shepherds' council established in 1273, said some 5,000 sheep and 60 cattle crossed the city to exercise the right to droving routes that existed before Madrid grew from a rural hamlet to the great capital it is today.

Susana Vera / Reuters

A shepherd walks past Madrid's landmark Puerta de Alcala monument as hundreds of sheep are herded through the city Oct. 30. Shepherds parade the sheep through the city every year in order to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock from northern Spain to winter grazing pasture land in southern Spain.


Susana Vera / Reuters

A female shepherd carries a lamb as hundreds of sheep are herded through the center of Madrid Oct. 30.

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Images Contributor

People watch sheep pass through the streets during an annual parade on Oct. 30, in Madrid, Spain.