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Dairy farmers spill milk in a cry against low prices

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

Police officers are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Nov. 26.

John Thys / AFP - Getty Images

A dairy farmers holds a hose spraying milk at a protest against EU agricultural policies at the Place du Luxembourg, near the European Parliament, in Brussels, on Nov. 26.

Yves Herman / Reuters

A riot police is seen covered in milk as farmers dump milk on the European Parliament during a demonstration in Brussels on Nov. 26.

Reuters -- Dairy farmers sprayed thousands of gallons of fresh milk at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday in protest at what they say are excessive milk quotas and prices below the cost of production.

Hundreds of farmers and tractors from across Europe took up position in a park near the European Commission and a square in front of the parliament in the early afternoon, after blocking traffic along several of Brussels' busiest streets.

They then turned their hoses on parliament, a collection of vast marble, glass and steel buildings on a Brussels square, and unleashed torrents of milk, some of it raining down on police and passers-by.

Afterwards they set alight barrels of hay and a pile of tires, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky. They plan to stay put outside parliament until Tuesday afternoon.

The European Milk Board, which coordinated the two-day protest, said prices with current quotas were putting small farmers out of business. In Belgium, for example, the board said the wholesale price for a quarter gallon of milk was around 34 cents, but the cost of producing it is more than 50 cents. Continue reading.

Julien Warnand / EPA

Farmers spray milk at riot police during a demonstration on the 'Place du Luxembourg' near the European parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov. 26.

Yves Herman / Reuters

European milk producers demonstrate outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Nov. 26.

Yves Herman / Reuters

Farmers stand among hundreds of tractors during a demonstration in central Brussels on Nov. 26.

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