New investigation from L214 in a French slaughterhouse reveals serious abuse
27 October 2021
Today, L214 unveils a new investigation conducted in a French slaughterhouse of the Bigard Group (which owns the Bigard, Socopa and Charal brands), leader in bovine meat production in France and Europe.
Thomas Saïdi, an investigator from L214, applied for a position as a health officer within the official veterinary services of the slaughterhouse. These are the services that are supposed to control the respect of sanitary and animal protection rules. He was hired without any experience or qualification. Thomas filmed a part of the chain, from the arrival of the animals in the slaughterhouse to their killing and the first cuts.
He witnessed serious shortcomings of the veterinary services, numerous breaches of regulations leading to acute yet avoidable animal suffering.
In his testimony, Thomas shows:
- That hygiene and sanitary controls (including ritual slaughter controls) were performed without training
- The lack of staff for veterinary inspection and the sporadic controls
- Serious regulatory violations and avoidable animal suffering
- Calf fetuses of all ages arriving on the slaughter line daily (about 50 per day) while regulations prohibit the transport of cows beyond 90% of the gestation.
L214 will file a complaint for serious abuse with a prosecutor as well as a liability claim against the French State for failure to fulfill its mission of controlling the application of the regulations.
In this petition, L214 also asks :
- That the operations of immobilisation, stunning, slaughter and killing of animals be truly placed under the continuous surveillance of inspection service agents, as required by the regulations,
- That infractions are sanctioned and that slaughterhouses are forced to put an end to them without delay.
In addition, this investigation proves once again the urgent need to make pre-cut stunning mandatory, to spare animals severe and prolonged suffering.
For Thomas Saïdi, investigator from L214:
The images I shot are harsh, but they are necessary at a time when it is forbidden to reveal what happens inside slaughterhouses without any logic of confidentiality, competition or security being at stake (…)”
For Sébastien Arsac, spokesperson for L214:
The Bigard Group does everything to make people forget the animals behind the meat. When you see the images from inside, you understand why! But the consumers who buy the group’s products (the brands Charal, Bigard or Socopa) have the right to know (…) With the presidential elections just a few months away, this is a good time to open our eyes to the savagery of our society towards animals and to rethink the relationship we want to have with them.“