By Susan Bird / January 17, 2017 \ Care2.com
France has 1,000 or so slaughterhouses. By 2018, each one of them will be equipped with closed circuit television cameras (CCTV). They will record everything that happens in all areas where animals are “delivered, kept, immobilized, stunned, and slaughtered.”
The French will now be able to see whether slaughterhouse workers are abusing animals anywhere along the way from farm to actual slaughter. This is historic. Only Israel has done something similar. It’s a hugely important decision by the French National Assembly.
Animal rights organization L214 is largely responsible for this breakthrough. Its dedicated members managed to capture a great deal of damning video footage of rampant animal cruelty inside French abattoirs. They saw and recorded heartbreaking incidents, such as slaughterhouse workers “bashing sheep over the head, throwing a lamb at a wall, and decapitating a cow that was struggling,” according to The Local.
To see the sorts of horrors L214 made public, watch the video below. Be warned — it’s deeply disturbing:
Love This? Never Miss Another Story.
2:18 / 4:34
France’s Senate must still vote on the measure to make it official. Before that happens, by July 2017, CCTV will get a “test run” of sorts in 263 French slaughterhouses nationwide. The French government wants an “initial opportunity to evaluate the current conditions” before drafting the final version of the bill.
The CCTV mandate comes in the wake of a 225-page report to France’s National Assembly, commissioned in March 2016. The report recommends 65 measures that would improve “transparency and the inadequate controls” at French slaughterhouses. L214′s video evidence sparked the Assembly’s request for this report.
As you can imagine, the French agricultural industry is not happy with what’s coming. We know this because ag workers have been busy blocking traffic with their trucks, burning tires, dumping huge piles of manure in front of French ministries and dangling pig carcasses from highway overpasses. It’s not the best way to win hearts and minds, but there you have it.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
Animal protectors will need to be prepared to argue strongly and well that the Senate needs to agree to mandate CCTV in all slaughterhouses, because the agricultural industry will fight hard against this law. There’s no downside to a CCTV requirement — unless the industry is so deeply cruel every day and in every way. Perhaps it won’t be able to function once the public sees what’s going on. Any guesses on how true that scenario will turn out to be?
There’s one potential problem with the law as proposed. As of now, apparently only government veterinarians and slaughterhouse management types will see the raw footage. What animal protection groups want very badly is for all such footage to be freely available to the public. Only then can the French government and its people truly hold slaughterhouses accountable for their employees’ misdeeds.
Lawmakers of France, do the right thing. Your people demand it. The animals need your help. Perhaps one day we’ll all see the light and stop eating our fellow animal friends. Until then, we must do everything possible to minimize their pain, their fear and their suffering.
Is the rest of the world paying attention? Israel did it first, now France is getting on board. Other countries, it’s time for CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
Shame on the slaughter industry for even arguing that oversight of animal treatment is inappropriate. It’s what you do on the kill floor that’s inappropriate. Your industry on its way toward the dust bins of history. Be ready, because all this killing will stop one day. It can’t come soon enough.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
ADDENDUM & BONUS FEATURES
Intro note by Patrice Greanville
Must see documentaries
More evidence that factory farming—besides being a huge insult to the environment (confined animal installations emit ammonia and other air pollutants comparable to world vehicular traffic)—is also an enormous crime against animals, especially so since today vegetarians have a wide array of choices, as the imitation of meats, eggs and otehr animal foods has reached an advanced stage of mimicry. The palate can and is easily fooled. I can attest to that since I have been vegetarian for decades, and today it is so easy that it bears no resemblance to the days when vegetarianism connoted only tasteless salads, nuts or similar insipid foods.
But there’s another factor. Justice and compassion are indivisible. They should be practiced with integrity—without setting up degrees and divisions with favored compartments. Thats why the goddess of justice is usually portrayed as blindfolded, signaling this essential quality: egalitarian treatment to all.
Good-bye veal, cow, pig…
“How is it that animals have become mere morsels, things, merchandise…?
Published on Jul 7, 2015
“Adieu, veau, vache, cochon, couvée” raconte une histoire à la fois terrible et ahurissante ; une histoire aux conséquences inouïes. Celle d’une industrie qui chaque année envoie des milliards d’animaux à la mort pour assouvir nos appétits carnivores d’occidentaux bien nourris, une industrie qui détruit les équilibres de la planète et fait de nous des irresponsables consentants. La transformation de l’élevage depuis la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale, en sous-produit des céréales et en industrie de la viande, a accompli l’impensable : faire des animaux des produits, des choses.
Comment des animaux sont-ils devenus des morceaux, des choses, des marchandises ? À la suite de quelle rupture mentale a-t-on accepté la barbarie de l’élevage industriel ? Au nom de quoi des techniciens inventent-ils chaque jour, de nouvelles méthodes pour fabriquer de la “matière” comestible à partir d’êtres vivants ?
Auteur-Réalisateur : Béatrice Limare
Image : Béatrice Limare
Son : Béatrice Limare
Montage : Dominique Barbier, Jean-François Giré
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