Around 700 sheep seized from a farm in Merry-sur-Yonne: an ongoing investigation

Friday, January 14, 2022, in the morning, a dozen people come to the sheep farmer Jean-Baptiste Langellier in Merry-sur-Yonne. Soldiers, members of the municipal veterinary service and volunteers from the animal protection association OABA (Oeuvre d’assistance aux animals d’abattoirs). And among them, “no one, not even a psychologist, to attend to the pastor who is going to faint”, laments Jean-Baptiste Langellier. In total, about 700 sheep were taken from him, the entire creation, although he strongly defends his model of creation. An investigation is under way, entrusted to the Coulanges-la-Vineuse brigade.

If no charges have been initiated at this stage, “an investigation is underway by the Coulanges-la-Vineuse brigade, confirms Auxerre public prosecutor Hugues de Phily. Several crimes have been observed within the ‘reproduction'”. As far as the seizure of sheep is concerned, it is an “administrative waiver that must be converted into a judicial waiver. The court will have to decide on their confiscation or restitution.”

Excess mortality in herds

A first procedure had been opened at the end of 2021 for “non-delivery for the provision of services, detention of animal carcasses without declaration and non-conforming provision area”. It is in this context that the pastor was heard by the gendarmerie twice, in November.

Nearly 600 sheep killed this summer 2021 in Merry-sur-Yonne: a shepherd’s dismay and locals’ annoyance

He explains that he faced excessive mortality in his herds, around 600 animals on a farm that had 1,800. The loss of his sheep was due, according to the breeder, “to an iodine deficiency. It was found that the sheep refused to eat and the fiber was no longer stored in their intestines. Added to this was an attack of flies.” . Jean-Baptiste Langellier starts the year 2022 with less than 1,000 animals in need of repair. “If I don’t make it, it will file for bankruptcy in 2022,” said Icaunais, installed for three years in Merry-sur-Yonne, to itself. “. Sheep farming divided locals in the summer of 2021 due to the smell of the carcasses.

“Good detention conditions” to offer

On January 10, 2022, it’s 8:30 am when a dozen people knock on your door to carry out an inspection inside the creation. Two days later, the soldiers handed him a formal 7-page notice. The shepherd is required, among other things, to provide the sheep with “good detention conditions”, “good food”, “shelter” and “a watering system” within 48 hours. To which he replies, “In 48 hours, I don’t have time to do anything.”

“There is no need for a drinking fountain for the sheep”, explains the breeder, estimating that the grass, formed by water, would be enough to hydrate them. “My argument was not accepted. I give new grass to my sheep every day. And as for the shelter they want me to install, they don’t tell me how much or how. Nothing at all.” Annoyed, Jean-Baptiste Langellier believes that the veterinary services did not take into account his arguments, nor the deficiency in the fall that led to the fragility of his sheep.

A withdrawal report

On Friday, January 14, 2022, the gendarmes, the prefecture and the members of the OABA association returned to their home. A withdrawal report was notified to him. This reports lack of watering, lack of shelter, lame sheep and poor body condition. The “abuse” box is checked. The report states that despite “a formal notification, no corrective action has been taken”. One hundred sheep are taken from him and 600 more the following Wednesday. The whole, entrusted to the association for the protection of animals. Contacted by email and phone, the association did not respond to our requests.

A refund request

Among the lots seized, one of them went to the slaughterhouse. Or a deficit of “12,000 euros”. “I was taken from my work, my capital, my income and my passion”, confides Jean-Baptiste Langellier, who intends to make a request for restitution: “I know anyway that they won’t give me back if I’m not absolutely perfect. If I don’t fit into all the boxes.”

Tiphaine Sirieix
[email protected]


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