Mistreatment on farms. For the Brest promoter, it’s neither all white nor all black

In the images published by the association L 214, in October 2019, we see calves being mistreated with kicks and punches, animals in boxes dirty with feces. On April 1, the Brest prosecutor demanded fines of up to 50,000 euros against three companies in the veal sector in Finistère. The prosecution also asks for L 214 to be sentenced to a fine of 10,000 euros for having entered the farms and broadcasting the videos.

A kick to the animals head, an animal held by the kick to force it to drink. As usual, the images published in October 2019 by L214 are shocking.

On April 1, 2022, the association and the farms in question were subpoenaed before the Brest court.

The problem is that the association would like another company. It’s a very respectable fight, but it has no place in a courtroom. begins Christian Bergot, defender of one of the farms in question. The court is there to declare the law, to say whether a crime has been committed or not, but it is not there to change the way of society.

Recognizing Difficulty”to avoid a social debate“in this case, the public prosecutor of Brest Isabelle Johanny recalled that the veal sector existed”because there is a demand“.

The L 214 association carried out its calf research in Finistère from July to October 2019. Sébastien Arsac, co-founder and research director L 214 explains: “For us, the important thing is to show how animals are raised and transported. If no one makes the images, explains Sébastien Arsac, we have a completely truncated picture of reality.”

“For us, it’s complicated to work, we don’t have access to these places, we have to find ways to get in. So in this case, it’s the people working in the industry who were shocked. and provided it to us, we checked it, we compared the situation with the regulation and we distributed it. So, it is up to each one, in their soul and conscience, to give their opinion on the conditions of creation of these animals.

The director of investigations evokes a “general interest work“performed by the association”.If we don’t have these photos, we only have press releases from large agro-industrial groups that earn several billion euros and that have full control over their communication. For us, the data is loaded from the start and there must be whistleblowers who have the courage to collect these videos that are very representative of what is happening every day..”

“The end never justifies the means.“, replies Dominique Leyer, a lawyer for a farmer.The breeding conditions are governed by European legislation which sets standards that my client scrupulously respects. He is subject to regular checks by state services and has never been sanctioned for inappropriate behavior towards his animals.

Valérie Le Gall, creator gets angry: “Of the 432 calves on the farm, one had arthritis, he arrived like this, we were taking care of him. . It wasn’t broken overnight, and it was changed the next day.”

She accuses the association of manipulating the images,”they said our calves don’t have water, they do, they don’t have daylight, they do. They want to denounce a system, we raise calves, it’s our job. We can’t treat them badly, it’s our income.”

“Farms are subject to economic restrictions and their economic interest is also animal welfare, because an animal that lives well and is not stressed gains more weight than a poorly bred animal.“confirms Master Leyer.

L214 has a laudable purpose, but it may be an incorrect view of the livestock business. The rearing of calves takes place on a farm and not on the tiles of a house. We don’t clean the bars like the tiles in his house! It is normal for there to be excreta, in limited quantities, says the lawyer, there are patterns, but we shouldn’t confuse everything.”

It is important to repress breeders who behave badly, but to say that the breeding conditions are not normal in my client, that seems excessive to me.

“The association denounces practices, not private persons” claims Hélène Thouy, lawyer for Sébastien Arsac and L 214.”The aim of the association is to question our relationship with animals and the way they are treated on these farms. The quality of a sentient living being is completely denied and the only valid objectives are the economic and profitability criteria that justify all production rules.

“There has to be people kicking the anthill sometimes to get things moving.” admits the procurator. Before tempering, on each side, “It’s neither all white nor all black!”

The prosecution asked against Sébastien Arsac, director of investigations at L214, sued for “home invasion” and “invasion of privacy“, a fine of 3,000 euros, and 10,000 euros against the association he co-founded for having disseminated the video.

Against the calf sorting centre, the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office requested a fine of 50 thousand euros, as she considered that she could not “not knowing“that the animals were victims of mistreatment and a fine of 750 euros against the employee filmed kicking a calf.

Against the two farms whose representatives do not recognize the facts, the Public Ministry asked for each a fine of 20,000 euros, including 10,000 suspended.

The decision will be delivered on June 3.

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