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Dairy Farmers Spray Milk, Park Tractors in Brussels to Protest

Thousands of dairy farmers with hundreds of tractors are demonstrating outside the European Parliament in Brussels for a second day to protest milk prices they say don’t cover costs, the European Milk Board said.

The protest was organized by the board to call for “efficient rules” for the European Union milk market, it wrote in a statement on its website yesterday. Television images showed farmers yesterday using hoses to spray riot police with milk. They demonstrated again today, a statement showed.

More than 157,000 dairy farmers in Europe have gone out of business since a dairy-industry crisis in 2009, according to the board. The 27-nation EU produces 31 percent of the world’s milk, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

“There is an answer to the closure of farms,” Sieta van Keimpema, vice-president of the board, was cited as saying in today’s statement. “With the aid of a flexible supply management a further bleeding of the milk market can be prevented.”

The protests gathered 3,500 farmers with 1,000 tractors to call for fair milk prices, according to the board. Belgian news agency Belga counted 2,000 farmers with about 800 tractors.

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