FRENCH butchers have called for police protection against terrorist acts by militant vegans and animal rights activists.
The Butchers’ Federation of France said a string of attacks on butchers’ shops was “a form of terrorism.”
It said it was worried by the potential consequences of huge media coverage of the vegan way of life.
Federation leader Jean-François Guihard said he did not expect a gendarme at every shop but said he did want police to intervene.
Mr. Guihard, who represents 18,000 businesses, appealed to, the country’s interior minister Gérard Collomb to stop “physical, verbal and moral violence” against his members.
He made the call after seven butchers’ shops in northern France were sprayed with artificial blood.
In Lille, a butcher and a fishmonger had windows broken and their premises graffitied.
Attacks have also been reported in the southwest region of Occitanie.
Windows were smashed at Canard Street, a Paris restaurant specialising in duck.
Myriam Jouglet, a vegan activist, was given a six-month suspended sentence for speech supporting terrorism after a supermarket butcher was killed by an Islamist gunman near Carcassonne.
“You are shocked that a murderer is killed by a terrorist,” she wrote on Facebook.
“I’ve got zero compassion for him. There’s justice in it.”
Interest in the animal rights and the vegan cause has grown in recent years.
More than 20 per cent of French people say they have significantly reduced their consumption of meat, although there are still only 300,000 vegans in a population of 65 million.
Vegan and animal rights groups deny condoning violence.