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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2007, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
In pictures: Sheep invade Madrid

A shepherd leads a flock of sheep past the Bank of Spain in Madrid.

The streets of central Madrid saw an unusual procession on Sunday as thousands of sheep staged a noisy march.

Herdsmen help guide a flock of sheep

The protest - now in its 15th year - is held to defend ancient grazing routes threatened by urban sprawl and man-made frontiers.

An African woman helps guide a flock of sheep.

The bleating and stench filled the capital's exclusive streets and boulevards lined with fragrant luxury stores.

African herdsmen help guide a flock of sheep through the streets of in Madrid

Shepherds from 32 countries joined in. They had been taking part in a world gathering of nomads and transhumants. The practice involves seasonal livestock movement.

An African herdsman drags a wayward sheep through the streets.

One of them had a particularly challenging task - maintain law and order and the unity of ranks by dragging a wayward sheep back into the fold.

A nun takes photos of a flock of sheep as they pass through the streets of in Madrid

The event highlights a tradition that has allowed herdsmen the right to use Spanish paths in seasonal livestock migrations. Madrid lies in the middle of two such routes.

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