France: a first legislative try to protect wild animals against cruelty

Up to now, in France, wild animals in the wild are not protected by any law. Only cruelty acts done on the ones held in captivity are sanctionned. But this may change.

In a Bill on biodiversity, an amendment has been voted on 24 June 2014. In a Country where most of the deputees are hunters, this amendment is already a small victory. But of course, it is only an amendment and can still be removed in the final vote of the Law on Biodiversity.

More information on http://www.20minutes.fr/societe/1410745-torturer-un-animal-sauvage-va-etre-puni-par-la-loi

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France: a criticized amendment on the legal status of animals in the Civil Code

On April 15th, in the frame of a parliamentary work to simplify the Civil Code, an amendment has been voted providing that "domestic animals kept in captivity" are sentient beings. 

Some newspapers have immediately reacted in a very positive way, saying that this was a big improvement for animal welfare in France. Reality is very different. This amendment could be seen as a political maneuver to close the debate on the legal status of the animals.

End of October 2013, 20 intellectuals have signed a petition launched by the animal welfare organisation "30 Millions d'Amis", asking for a new Title in the Civil Code for the animals. Up to now, while the criminal code is considering the animals under a different Title than "goods" and "persons", the Civil Code is still considering the animals as "goods". 

Indeed, France has a very complex legal system for considering the animals that has not changed since 1976: 

  • Companion Animals are considered as "furnitures" by the Civil Code and also as "sentient beings" by the rural Code. 
  • Farm Animals are falling under the scope of "buildings" of the Civil Code, because they are linked to the farms or stabbles where they are kept. But the Rural Code also consider them as "sentient beings".
  • Wild Animals are considered as "res nullius", and are out of any legal protection

In parallel, two temporary working groups have been created in the Senate (directed by Chantal Jouanno) and in the National Assembly (directed by Geneviève GAILLARD) preparing a more ambitious project to change the legal status of all animals in France. Before any bill could have been introduced by one of these working groups, this unexpected amendment to the Civil Code has been introduced and voted on one evening, closing the debate.

This amendment is not removing the animals from the "goods" Title. It is also not giving any legal personality to the animals, that would permit a third person to claim damages on their names in case of mistreatments. Therefore this will have no legal consequence and will not improve the situation of the animals in France.

The change and the clarification of the legal status of the animals was a promise in 2012 when the actual President François Hollande was only candidate. But more recently, in february 2014 in the famous "Agricultural fair", the French President has said that "Farmers make enough effort to protect animal welfare and consequently it is not necessary to change the legal status of the animals". 

In short, this amendment will not change anything for the animals neither create a duty of men to take care of them. Despite this, some farmers organisations and hunters organisations are already fighting against…

 


Please find here below the relevant documents:

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Commission to recover €318 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States, mainly from France

 

Today, the EU Commission announced that 318 Million of Euros will be claimed to the Member States. This monney was given by the EU to the Member States in the frame of the EU agricultural policy funds. Every year, the EU Commission is checking the way the money is used in the Member States and can ask for reimbursement in case of breach of the rules.

This year, the EU Commission estimated that some sountries do not comply with EU Rules on CAP fundings. The main concerned countries are Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland and UK. France alone will have to reimburse to the EU Commission about 290 million of euros for weaknesses related to the allocation of entitlements or for deficiencies in the Young farmer measure and in the control of the subsidised loans.

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France: 4,034 jackets made of cat and dog fur seized by the French customs authorities

Last week, the French customs officers have seized 4,034 jackets labelled as "synthetique fur", but having, according to the officers, "a strange smell". After analysis, it appears that the jackets were made of cat and dog fur. 

Cat and dog fur is prohibited in France since 2007 and in the whole EU since 2008.

More information on http://www.douane.gouv.fr/page.asp?id=3669

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Sow Stalls: the infringement procedures against France, Belgium, Greece and Cyprus continued /2 new procedures opened against Slovenia and Finland

Today, EU Commission has decided to pursue the infringement procedures opened last year regarding sow stalls against Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and France by sending a reasonned opinion to them.
Moreover, the EU Commission has decided to start new infringement procedures against Slovenia and Finland by sending a letter of formal notice to them.

Official press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-36_en.htm

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France: new horsemeat scandal, 21 people arrested

On December 16th, 21 people have been arrested by the French police, for having taking part in a big horsemeat trafic. The meat came from horses used in laboratories. They were bought for a very low price and sold as beef. The scandal came from the fact that the horses were used for toxicologic tests and consequently were unfit for humane comsumption.

More information on http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/scandale-de-la-viande/20131216.OBS9643/viande-de-cheval-ce-que-l-on-sait-du-nouveau-scandale.html

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France: The greens introduced a bill to prohibit bullfightings

On 19 September 2013, a bill has been proposed by the French Green party "Europe Ecologie les Verts". It aims to prohibit bullfightings by removing the article of the Criminal Code that created an exemption to animal cruelty for bullfightings. The initiative is supported by the well known animal welfare organisation "30 Millions d'amis".

More information on http://www.30millionsdamis.fr/acces-special/actualites/detail/article/6710-nouvelle-proposition-de-loi-pour-interdire-la-corrida.html

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