Animal rights group to sue French rail service after cat crushed by train

After family pet Neko was run over by a high-speed TGV train at Paris' Montparnasse station, animal rights group 'Fondation 30 millions d'amis' is suing the French national rail service.

Animal rights group to sue French rail service after cat crushed by train
A high speed TGV train stands at a platform at the Gare Montparnasse train station in Paris (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

After a cat was crushed by a train departing from the Paris Montparnasse station, the Foundation for 30 million friends (Fondation 30 millions d’amis) announced that it would be suing French national rail services, SNCF, for “serious abuse and acts of cruelty resulting in the death of an animal” – an offence that has a maximum penalty of a €75,000 fine or five years in jail.

The Foundation announced its plans to file complaints against SNCF in a tweet published on Monday, referencing the tragic death of a family pet, Neko, who was crushed by a high-speed TGV train on January 2nd.

The cat had apparently been travelling with its owner, Georgia, and her 15-year-old daughter, Melaïna when it managed to escape from its cage prior to boarding. The animal then hid under the train headed from Paris to Bordeaux and was crushed as the TGV departed.

The mother and daughter reportedly spent at least 20 minutes attempting to negotiate with SNCF officials to delay the departure of the train in order to recover the cat, but their requests were refused. 

The case

As a result, the head of the foundation, Reha Hutin, said in a statement published on the organisation’s website that the animal was “knowingly crushed”.

“In addition to the abominable cruelty of the facts, the animal was in compliance with the rules, his owners had purchased a ticket for him to travel along with them”, said Hutin. “It was therefore an SNCF passenger who was knowingly crushed.”

France facts: Snails need a ticket to travel on a train

According to reporting by Le Parisien, the complaint filed cited Article 521-1 of the French penal code, alleging that SNCF’s actions constituted serious abuse and acts of cruelty, which could lead to a fine of up to €75,000 and five years imprisonment if found responsible.

In response, French national rail services justified their decision to Le Parisien, arguing that “it is extremely dangerous to go down on the tracks because they are electrified”. SNCF also reiterated to the French daily that the incident occurred during the end of the Christmas-New Year holidays, “so there were a lot of people in the station, which meant that we could not stop the traffic so easily”.

Member comments

  1. Didn’t know tracks are electrified ; I thought all the power was through overhead cables ? Maybe for signaling. Tough decision either way.

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French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.