France: Video surveillance in slaughterhouses


85% of French are in favor of the cameras in slaughterhouses, according to a poll for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and Animal Rights Association that has been released on Monday. This measures are intended to reduce animal suffering.

Please proceed to the full article (in French) in here.

You can have an access to the press release as well as the full report.

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Biggest Seizure of Live Scorpions in France

On 18 and 22 September, the customs of the French Airport of Roissy have seized 119 live scorpions. The "Pandinus dictator" were listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The scorpions were intended to be sold in the USA as exotic pets. 

More on http://www.ifaw.org/european-union/news/biggest-seizure-live-scorpions-france

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France: a law proposal to give harsher penalties to those who abandon their dog or cat

On July 28 2015, the French MP Frédéric Lefebvre has initiated a law proposal aiming to give harsher penalties to the persons who abandon their animals and also to prohibit anyone who abandonned a dog or a cat in the past to adopt or buy a new one.

 

Official Press release: 

« Lefebvre (Les Républicains) propose de renforcer la protection des animaux domestiques

Le député Frédéric Lefebvre (Les Républicains) a annoncé mardi avoir déposé une proposition de loi "durcissant les sanctions et interdisant toute nouvelle possession d'animal pour les propriétaires qui ont abandonné leurs animaux".

La loi propose de sanctionner "l'abandon d'un animal domestique, apprivoisé ou tenu en captivité", et de durcir la peine maximale en cas d'abandon ou de sévices, qui passerait à 45.000 euros d'amende et 3 ans d'emprisonnement. Le député souhaite également rendre automatique la confiscation d'animaux victimes de leurs maîtres.

"La reconnaissance du statut d'être vivant sensible (…) doit nécessairement avoir pour conséquence la mise en cohérence de notre droit et une évolution de notre droit pénal", a commenté le député dans un communiqué.

"Chaque année, plus de 60.000 animaux de compagnie sont abandonnés par leurs propriétaires sur les routes de France, et une recrudescence de ces abandons est enregistrée au moment des vacances estivales", a-t-il souligné. »

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Scandal in France after the introduction of a GMO lamb in the food chain

France is facing a new alimentary scandal after a genetically modified lamb finished in the food supply chain. The information was released yesterday by the French Newspaper “Le Parisien”.

In the framework of a medical research program carried out by the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (INRA) a ewe was genetically modified with the « green fluorescent protein » of jellyfish, which gave her a transparent and fluorescent skin colour. This ewe gave birth to a lamb carrying the same modified genes which was later sent to a slaughterhouse and whose meat was then sold to individuals in the Paris region.

 

The result of internal dysfunctions

The decision of sending the lamb to slaughterhouse was the result of internal dysfunctions and especially the disagreement between employees, said the INRA. The lamb was put by one of them within a “regular” sheep livestock that was supposed to be sent to the slaughterhouse. Whether this was intentional or not remains unknown. His superior, who had signed the authorisation of deliverance to the slaughterhouse, after asking where was the lamb in question and realising what he had authorized, decided to remain silent and not to tell his hierarchy. In the end, the first employees decided to talk.

 

The investigation of the French Ministry of Agriculture and the ANSES report

An investigation, required by the French ministry of agriculture, was carried out. Several failures in the INRA units were found out (e.g. lack of identification of GMO lambs, law requirements infringements). A report has to me made by the 30th of June and the INRA promised to act on those kinds of misbehaviours.

The French National Agency for sanitary security of food supply, environment and work (ANSES) was consulted by several General Directorates (health, food and agriculture) in early June, in order to report on what could be the consequences of this case upon human health. Even if the report found out that such a risk was nearly non-existing, it shows that the responsible authorities were aware of the matter but didn't warn the public before “Le Parisien” yesterday did it.

According to “Le Parisien”, there is no way to discover to whom the GMO meat was sold since in case of sale to individuals there is no requirement for slaughterhouses to set up precise traceability. 

 

The presence of genetically modified meat in the food supply chain: a failure that shouldn't happen

The GMO release into our food supply system and more generally into the environment falls under the Directive 2001/18/CE. In any case, GMO producers shall have an authorisation before release which is subject to a risk assessment. For the moment no GMO animals have been authorised, but two EFSA's guides of assessment have been already published in anticipation (respectively on the environmental risk and on the risk linked to the use of it in human and animals food). 

In this case the release was subsequent to a misbehaviour or mistake and the GMO meat of the lamb was never intended for human consumption. It is thus absolutely intolerable that a GMO finishes in our plate without going through the required procedures. A legal proceeding has been opened and hopefully this infringement, even possibly unintentional, will be punished in order to preserve the consumer's trust.

 

 

The traceability of meat: a recurring EU issue still unsolved

After the mad cow disease in 2000 and the so-called “Horsegate” scandal in 2013, the food safety issue is back on the table. 

Since the Regulation n° 1760/2000, bovine meat has to be labelled. With the Regulation n°1169/2011 of the Parliament and Council of the EU, this obligation has been extended to sheep, goat, pork and poultry fresh, chilled or frozen meat. These rules are only applying since the 1st April 2015. The labelling must contain the rearing and slaughtering countries as well as the birth and countries of processing for bovine meat.

However this obligation doesn't concern “processed meat”, i.e. neither meat as component or ingredient of a ready-meal or dishes, nor deli meats are concerned, but only raw meat.  A resolution was adopted by the EU Parliament last February, asking the EU Commission to make a proposal on that matter. The Council also discussed the opportunity of such a labelling in June. The opinions were diverse, but France and Italy for instance were very in favour of such an obligation. In the same spirit of improving the meat traceability, France adopted similar measures with the “Hamon” Law of the 17th March 2014, not applied yet. The BEUC, a European Organisation gathering more than 40 consumers organisations, is also supporting the need of a reform. Nevertheless an EU Commission proposal on such a matter is not on the agenda yet.

On the same topic, the organic label is being reviewed this year. A General Approach of the Council of the EU on the EU Commission proposal has even been found on the 17th of June. Nevertheless one point of the General Approach has been very much criticized by some member States. Indeed forbidden substances (e.g. GMO) traces are allowed under certain circumstances.

 

As response to an increasing concern of the public toward what we eat, a transparent, comprehensive and adequate mandatory labelling should be provided for as well as a better control of the compliance with the existing rules, so that we never find out “jellyfish-lamb” in our plates without knowing it !

 

Read more:

Article of Le Parisien (in French): http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/la-folle-histoire-du-mouton-ogm-23-06-2015-4885599.php#xtor=AD-1481423552

Press release of the French National Agency for sanitary security of food supply, environment and work: https://www.anses.fr/fr/system/files/BIOT2015SA0136.pdf

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Turkey: 3 years of jail for torturing a cat

A Turkish student was sentenced by a Turkish Court to 3 years in prison for torturing a cat and put the video online on youtube. As a comparison, last year, a similar offense was done in France, but the perpetror was sentenced only to 1 year in prison.

Turkish laws are getting more and more stronger against animal cruelty, and this recent judgment is a new proof that the Turkish government doesn't intend to take lightly these extremely serious facts.

More on https://fr.yummypets.com/mag/actualite/faitsdivers/56762/condamne-a-3-ans-de-prison-ferme-pour-avoir-tue-son-chat

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26 persons arrested for horse meat trafic

After two years of investigation in 7 European Countries, Eurojust and the state of France have succeeded to arrest all the persons involved in the 2013 criminal horse meat trafic, including the leader of the criminal network. The arrested persons were originated mainly from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. The inquiry has been started 5 years ago in Belgiumn but most of the trafic was located in south of France, where the horses have been slaughtered.

According to Eurojust, between 2010 and 2013, 4 700 horses have been illegally slaughtered and introduced in the food chain. Some prohibited medication were found in this meat.

Since the horse meat scandal has raised in 2003, genetic tests have been done randomly everywhere in Europe. According to the EU Commission, 5% of the meat labelled "beef" is in reality horse meat.

More on http://eurojust.europa.eu/press/PressReleases/Pages/2015/2015-04-24.aspx

and http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/nord-pas-de-calais/2015/04/25/un-trafic-de-viande-de-cheval-demantele-712339.html

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France: More possibilities to learn Animal Welfare law

 

Since the official recognition of animals as sentient beings in the revision of the French Civil Law last January, Animals welfare seems to have reach a new level in France. Indeed, for the very first time, two French universities will offer to their students the possibility to graduate in animal welfare law. 

First, the European Center for Teaching and Ethical research of the University of Strasbourg is creating up from september 2015 a speciality cursus of the Master on Ethics and Society called "Animal: science, law and ethics". This Master will be mainly focus on animals in experiments and aims to gather scientists practicing vivisection, and animal defenders. More information on registration is available here: https://ethique-alsace.unistra.fr/index.php?id=9515

Secondly, the University of Limoges, already well-known for publishing a biannual law journal on animal law (RSDA), is launching, in partnership with the French institute of Equine Law, a Universitary Diploma (DU) on Equine Law. This diploma is opened to any student having reached the level of 1 year after Bachelor and is taking place through 9 sessions of 2 days spread over 2 years. The diploma will cost 6000€ for both of the years. More information on registration is available here: http://www.animaletdroit.com/2015/03/un-diplome-universitaire-en-droit-equin.html#.VSz1f_msWLg

 

Please check here where you can study animal law in Europe: http://lawyersforanimalprotection.eu/animal-welfare-legal-studies-2/

 

 

 

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Motion for a resolution on stopping the capture of baby elephants for export to France and compliance with the rules concerning the transport of young animals

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION pursuant to Rule 133 of the Rules of Procedure on stopping the capture of baby elephants for export to France and compliance with the rules concerning the transport of young animals

Authors: Dominique Bilde, Sophie Montel, Marine Le Pen, Florian Philippot, Steeve Briois

Date: 6.03.2015

Continue reading Motion for a resolution on stopping the capture of baby elephants for export to France and compliance with the rules concerning the transport of young animals

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EU Research "Making the most of pig manure"

Although pigs are actually one of world's cleanest creatures – despite their reputation to the contrary – cleaning up after them is a challenging task. The bulk, gas emissions and associated odours give pig manure a bad name. But if you know how to extract them, there are value nutrients secreted in the slurry. The EU-funded EfficientHeat project has advanced waste disposal while giving pig farmers the potential to turn manure into money.

Project details

  • Project acronym: EFFICIENTHEAT
  • Participants: Spain (Coordinator),Switzerland, France, Finland
  • Project reference 277624
  • Total cost: € 1 372 637
  • EU contribution: € 1 084 300
  • Duration: April 2008 – March 2013

Continue reading EU Research "Making the most of pig manure"

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