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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Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Frenchman Sebastien Raoult pleaded not guilty to cybercrimes Friday in Seattle federal court, two days after he was extradited from Morocco.

Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Federal Judge Michelle Peterson told the 21-year-old Raoult that he was charged with nine counts, including conspiracy, computer intrusion, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Raoult listened through an interpreter.

After Raoult’s plea of not guilty, the judge ordered him to be detained as a flight risk until a hearing April 3.

Moroccan authorities arrested Raoult at Rabat airport May 31 at the request of the US Department of Justice. Along with Raoult, two other French nationals were also arrested, Gabriel Bildstein, 23, and Abdel-Hakim El-Ahmadi, 22.

According to Raoult’s indictment, he and the other two men are alleged to have formed a hacking team, dubbed “ShinyHunters,” to steal confidential data from 60 companies to sell on the dark web where criminals routinely operate.

Some of the companies are located in the Seattle area.

According to experts, beginning in 2020, the hackers stole customer data from the Indonesian e-commerce site Tokopedia, the US clothing brand Bonobos, the US telecom AT&T and many other companies, putting the personal data for sale on the dark web.

The criminal charges carry a possible jail term of up to 27 years in prison.