Sardinian shepherds block highway in protests
Epidemic threatening sheep being ignored, say herders27 September, 16:59
Protest leader Felice Floris said it was painful to watch sheep suffering from bluetongue disease, which is decimating flocks and damaging the island's economy.
"The epidemic...is not helping any Sardinian town and everywhere is bringing despair, uncertainty and concern," said Floris, whose group gathered near Tramatza.
Bluetongue disease is a virus carried by insects that attacks mostly sheep, often causing a high fever, swelling of the head and tongue, and has a high rate of mortality.
Floris's group is demanding more help from regional governments to deal with the disease.
Herders feel "despair to see their flocks in appalling conditions and uncertainty" about possible disabilities caused by the disease.