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Farmers in Upliststsikhe warn about rally

By Thea Mariamidze
Thursday, may 28
Farmers of village Uplistsikhe, Shida Kartli region are going to hold a rally and block the Gori-Uplistsikhke motorway. According to the locals their discontent was caused by placing 13 thousand diseased sheep in the fields of the village.

The villagers say that the sheep were taken from Georgia to Saudi Arabia on import, where the animals were disapproved of and sent back to Georgia. They say that the flock is infected and hundreds of sheep are dying every day.

The farmers are afraid that the infection will be spread among their domestic animals and are demanding the immediate withdrawal of suffering animals from their fields.

In case the relevant authorities do not take appropriate measures, the locals say they plan to picket the railway and motorway and refuse to let tourists in the village.

The villagers also demand that laboratory researches to be done to the infected sheep, in order to find out exactly what disease they have.

The MP of Irakli Okruashvili-Georgian Party Teimuraz Apkhazishvili stressed that the owners of the flock are burying the dead sheep in the ground themselves, which is alarming and unacceptable.

He expresses his solidarity to the people and is going to lead the planned protest activities.

The owner of the flock is Viktoria LTD, whose representatives reject all charges and say that Saudi Arabia has not received the sheep due to commercial disagreement and exclude the disease among the animals.

The representative of Gori Municipality Ivane Janezashvili said that by visual examination the animals do not have any signs of infection.

“The blood samples were taken from the sheep and the results of laboratory researches will be known in several days,” the official said.

The National Food Agency also released a statement concerning the issue saying that there is no ground for panic.

They say that the long-term transportation, hunger and bad storage conditions have resulted health problems among the sheep.

According to the Food Agency their specialists were sent to the place, and studied the situation and asserted that there are no signs of infections.

The National Food Agency called upon the locals to stay calm and abstain themselves from any inappropriate actions.