The State has just been condemned for allowing acts of animal abuse to continue in a slaughterhouse in Aveyron. Three years ago, a video broadcast by the animal rights association L214 showed lambs slaughtered in poor conditions.
In a decision handed down on May 4, which the anti-species association welcomed on Wednesday, the administrative court of Montpellier (Hérault) condemned the State to pay the sum of 4,500 euros to L214, including 3,000 euros for his “moral damage linked to the fault of the State in the inadequacy of its controls of the regulations relating to animal protection by the Arsac slaughterhouse”.
State controls deemed “insufficient”
On the video, a montage of short sequences, we see in particular lambs being slaughtered while they are packed down and apparently poorly immobilized. “Bad practices and hellish speeds lead to the bleeding and hanging of still fully conscious lambs”, denounced at the time L214. However, according to the administrative court, seized in 2020 by L214, these breaches of national and European legislation had been observed in 2016 and 2019 and a formal notice of compliance had been sent to the company managing the slaughterhouse.
But these findings have “not been the subject of appropriate administrative follow-up or, where appropriate, of reporting to the public prosecutor for the most serious of them”, notes the administrative court. 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”, insists the judge. He also points out that the shortcomings noted by L214 in 2020 are proven and have been confirmed by the national veterinary and phytosanitary investigation brigade.
“The fight against animal abuse”, one of the “priorities” of the executive
“Our surveys show that the services (State veterinarians) are frequently completely failing. Here in Rodez, major non-compliances have persisted since 2016. We are pleased that the administrative court finally condemns the State, ”responded Brigitte Gothière, co-founder of L214, quoted in a press release. “We ask the Ministry of Agriculture to take responsibility in this regard,” she added.
In June 2020, the ministry in question had suspended the approval of the company managing the slaughterhouse, citing “unacceptable practices”. The State services have “two months to assess the advisability of appealing”, reacted at the end of the afternoon the Ministry of Agriculture, assuring that “the improvement of animal welfare and the fight against animal abuse” were “priorities” of the executive.