• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
France to probe all abattoirs after shocking new video
Photo: L214

France to probe all abattoirs after shocking new video

The Local · 29 Mar 2016, 16:13

Published: 29 Mar 2016 16:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2016 16:13 GMT+02:00

France will launch a nationwide probe of its abattoirs to ensure all standards and laws are being adhered to after the emergence of a shocking new video showing cruelty to sheep and cows.
 
Animal rights group L214 released the video on Tuesday, this time filmed with hidden cameras at a slaughterhouse in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of south western France. 
 
The video (below) was filmed over a week-long period before the Easter holiday, and was published on the L214 website - the latest in a string of videos released by the group. 
 
"These are obviously some very shocking images, but they're not the first of their kind, unfortunately," L214 spokesperson Sébastien Arsac told The Local, referring to two similar films to come out of French abattoirs in the last six months. 
 
The Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll reacted by ordering the slaughterhouse to be closed, and for all of France's abattoirs to be inspected within a month. 
 
The head of the abattoir said he was "disgusted" by the "unacceptable" treatment of animals, reported Le Point newspaper. 
 
Watch the video below. Viewer discretion is strongly advised. 
 
 
The video, above, shows workers repeatedly abusing sheep, bashing them over the head in an apparent attempt to knock them out. 
 
One clip shows a worker literally throwing a lamb against a wall. 
 
Other lambs are hauled by machines into the air by their hind legs while they are still conscious, leaving them struggling violently while suspended mid air. 
 
Another clip shows several sheep strung up by their feet, bleeding and bleating, while another sheep watches on from nearby. One is quartered while still alive. 
 
Towards the end of the clip, workers can be seen stabbing cows in the neck while they are strung up by their legs and are clearly still conscious. 
 
One cow is even decapitated while still struggling. 
 
And even though it appears the government reaction was strong, the team at L214 said that the it was nothing more than words. 
 
"This is exactly what the former agriculture minister said back in 2010," Arsac said. "They're obliged to react, but it's nothing more than a statement."
 
He said the best reaction would be to install cameras at all abattoirs so experts could ensure animals were treated properly, and for consumers to eat less meat. 
 
The horrific video comes after a so-called "animal-friendly" slaughterhouse in France was closed in February after L214 revealed shocking scenes of animal cruelty inside. 
Story continues below…
 
A spokesperson for L214 said at the time that the such cruelty could be fought by consumers themselves. 
 
"We want people to aware, to think about their own responsibility, and of course, to think about stopping eating meat," she told The Local. 
 
"These animals are sentient beings after all, just like cats and dogs."
 
In October last year, another video from an abattoir in southern France emerged showing even more gory footage of animal slaughter. 
 
 
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
Movingto rural rural France is not all rosé and cheese. Photo: Philippe Rouzet/Flickr

Moving to rural France can be a dream come true, but it doesn't always work out as planned.

Opinion - Strikes in France
Why the French are right to go on strike
Opinion: Why the French are entirely right to go on strike all the time. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP

There are good reasons why the French go on strike a lot.

LATEST: Where in France the petrol shortage is biting
Photo: Essence

The latest estimates say some 4,000 of the country’s 12,000 petrol stations are now out of fuel or running low.

IN PICTURES: The fuel crisis around France
Photo: AFP

The fuel crisis in France has made for some striking photos.

A complete guide to France's (many) upcoming strikes
All photos: AFP

A rundown of all the strikes in France today and in the coming days and weeks. Good luck.

Foreign investment rises in all of Europe except France
Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

France is the only country in Europe to have seen a net drop in foreign investment this year...

French unions to switch protests to electricity supplies
Photo: AFP

Are things about to get a lot worse for the French public?

Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

Now you see it, now you don't.

France starts using strategic reserves as fuel runs dry
Photos: AFP

French police are clearing the barricades around fuel depots but the shortages of petrol and diesel continue to hamper drivers and has forced the government to start using reserves.

How French rail services will be hit by this week's strike
Photo: AFP

Another tricky couple of days for rail travel lie ahead this week.

Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
Lifestyle
New map reveals Paris flat prices by Metro station
Culture
Paris: Here's how to find French cinema in English
Culture
How to say 'OUCH' in French (and ten other sounds)
National
Get ready: France to be hit by week of transport strikes
Culture
France readies for first national 'motorway party'
National
Is this the eco-solution to France's wild-peeing plague?
Sport
Paris mayor wants Seine to be 'swimmable' before Olympics
National
IN PICTURES: Police car torched in Paris protests
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and more to come
National
Why does 'everyone in France hate the police'?
2,735
jobs available