2017 has already brought in a wide array of successes for animal rights, from China pledging to close down their ivory trade to America’s Ringling Circus shutting down after 146 years of “entertainment”. Following this, France can also be added to the list of making positive leaps in aid of animal rights, as they have passed a bill which states that all French slaughterhouses must be equipped with CCTV cameras.
The French national assembly made the official move after a ream of disturbing undercover investigations, conducted by the local and highly respected animal rights organisation L214, were released by the French media, causing public outcry. L214 has become very well known within France for exposing the shocking reality of animal cruelty with an aim of revealing the practices that many people would never have thought to be a common occurrence.
The new law, which was passed 28 to 4, will go into effect in 2018, representing a far stricter policy on practices that occur in slaughterhouses, as well as their workers, who are known for a number of highly negative happenings, including animal cruelty and hygiene violations.
Reports were issued last September by France’s National Assembly with an aim of greatly improving the measures within slaughterhouses. A total of 65 were suggested to improve the “transparency and the inadequate controls”. Installing CCTV cameras to record all that goes on within the slaughterhouses was a key priority in achieving these important goals, along with ensuring that more qualified veterinarians were present at the slaughterhouses.
Prior to the new bill being passed, numerous videos were released which exposed the violent practices by the staff working there, which included the workers punching and hitting sheep, throwing a lamb at a wall, decapitating a cow, cutting throats and hanging cattle by the legs, amongst many other gruesome occurrences.
Although the bill is not due to go into effect for two years, if it clears the senate vote in March, a trial run will commence in July this year where cameras will be installed in 263 slaughter houses.
Whilst this is a positive step forwards for animal rights, there are some people who are not happy with the bill. Amongst these are those that work in the French animal agriculture industry, who proceeded to challenge talk of the bill by “dumping truckloads of manure in front of ministries, blocking traffic with trucks, burning tires, and hanging [dead] pigs from highway overpasses”. As well as this, Stephane LeFoll, the French Minister of Agriculture, claimed that “respect for slaughterhouse workers” would be affected by the bill and stated that due to this the bill should not go live.
The implications if general standards are not met by the slaughterhouses, as gathered by the CCTV footage, include “an independent commission, a national slaughterhouse ethics committee and stiff penalties for animal cruelty violations — 6 to 12 months of prison and fines from 7500 to 20,000 Euros ($8000 to $21,000).”
This news comes after animal rights protests have recently increased across Paris, Nice, and Lyon, which has consequently put France under pressure to recognise the protection needed for animals as an essential factor in limiting climate change.
Let’s hope that the installing of CCTV cameras and stated repercussions from bad practice will completely diminish the cruel practices previously experienced in the French slaughterhouses.
About The Author
Jess Murray is a wildlife filmmaker and conservation blogger, having recently returned from studying wildlife and conservation in South Africa, she is now striving to spread awareness about the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world. You can follow Jess on Facebook Here
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