State controls deemed "insufficient to prevent the risk of animal abuse" at the Rodez slaughterhouse
The Montpellier administrative court, seized in 2020 by L214 following the images of abuse filmed at the Rodez slaughterhouse , ruled that the State services were failing in their mission of control, sanction and monitoring in terms of protection. animals: " lack of sufficient corrective measures " contributed to " lack of regulatory compliance ". State controls were “ insufficient to prevent the risk of animal abuse, even though due to the major non-compliances noted in 2016, special vigilance and monitoring were required. »
The state can appeal this decision.
→ Read the deliberation of the Administrative Court of Montpellier
The trigger: images of the slaughter of lambs from the Roquefort sector and other sheep in 2020
In June 2020, L214 broadcast images of the sheep slaughter chain at the Arcadie group's Rodez slaughterhouse. These images showed:
- violent handling and acts of violence, including sheep being dragged by their tails, ears or legs when not stunned;
- the absence of immobilization of the sheep which jumped outside the restrainer or above the congeners;
- the absence of immobilization throughout the duration of the ritual slaughter;
- the absence of systematic stunning during traditional slaughter;
- the absence of verification of the unconsciousness of the animal;
- lack of emergency stun;
- bad bleeding gestures.
The survey published by L214 also showed the breeding of lambs excluded from the production of Roquefort (males and females in excess). The breeding and the veterinarians of the breeding were condemned in correctional in September 2022 .
Slaughter suspended by Minister
Following the dissemination of this investigation, the Minister of Agriculture temporarily suspended the approval of this slaughterhouse and ordered an inspection. L214 had lodged a complaint against the slaughterhouse for serious abuse and against the State services for its shortcomings in its monitoring and control missions in terms of animal protection.
The correctional slaughterhouse trial, initially scheduled for February 1, was postponed to September 20, 2023.
Proven breaches since 2016
In its deliberation, the administrative court notes that the shortcomings noted by L214 are proven, confirmed by the National Veterinary and Phytosanitary Investigation Brigade (BNEVP) and not contested by the prefecture. Worse, he notes that these shortcomings were identified in the 2016 and 2019 inspection reports and during regular checks but that no corrective action was required.
A remarkable decision
This decision is the first involving the responsibility of the State for failure to control and sanction animal protection rules. It therefore has a specific scope and should lead the veterinary services to attach more importance to compliance with these rules which have been too often neglected until now.
For Brigitte Gothière, co-founder of L214: “ The killing of animals in slaughterhouses is one of the most violent operations: breaches of regulations increase animal suffering.
The State services – veterinary services – are permanently present in the slaughterhouses: one of their missions consists in enforcing the regulations which set limits to what the animals endure. Our surveys show that these services are frequently completely failing. Here in Rodez, major non-conformities have persisted since 2016. We are pleased that the administrative court finally condemns the State.
If the condemnation remains symbolic - 4,500 € in all -, it helps to validate the alert launched by L214 on the failures of the veterinary services. We ask the Ministry of Agriculture to take responsibility in this regard. »
“ Our investigations, our complaints and your support allow us to achieve progress.
If you want and can, join us . Support our actions to defend animals.
Without you, we could not denounce what is happening behind the closed doors of farms and slaughterhouses.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for standing by our side to defend animals."
Source : L214
Posted on 2023-05-11 15:51