Day: April 30, 2022

France: Justice is served for pigs as French court case condemns routine tail docking.

We Animals.

20 April 2022

In an unprecedented move, a French criminal court has condemned the practice of illegal routine tail docking of pigs and issued a fine of 50,000 euros, including 25,000 suspended, against the owners of a pig farm.

On Wednesday 6 April, the owners of a pig farm in Limoise, France supplying the Herta brand were sentenced a fine of 50,000 euros by the Moulins criminal court. The court considered the systematic docking of animals’ to be an act of abuse. 

Tail docking is the practice of shortening a pig’s tail to prevent tail biting.

Tail biting usually occurs when pigs are bored or stressed due to their poor quality environment, poor health or lack of stimulation. The procedure is normally carried out without pain relief on piglets younger than 7 days. Although banned since 1994, routine tail docking is carried out in 99% of French pig farms.

The farm in question, which holds over 9,000 pigs, was put under the spotlight thanks to undercover footage released by French association L214 revealing terrible conditions in which the pigs were raised. 

This condemnation marks a real turning point! An offense tolerated for 20 years is finally condemned by justice. Tail docking is practiced routinely in almost all farms, with the complacency of state services. France was even called to order by the European Commission in 2020. The message sent today by justice is clear: the regulations concerning the conditions of animal breeding cannot be negotiated. It must apply to all farms, whether the breeding sectors like it or not, and the State is required to apply it.

Brigitte Gothière, co-founder of L214

Read more at source

Press Release from L214

Regards Mark

Italy: New research calls for a reconsideration of ritual slaughter without stunning in Italy.

28 April 2022


Animal Law Italia urges Italian policymakers to seek a balance between the respect of religious freedom and the essential need to protect animal welfare.

Our member organisation “ALI” (Animal Law Italia) is calling on the Italian Government and Parliament to urgently review the legal framework allowing slaughtering without stunning for religious purposes. The request is supported by a comprehensive paper (see English summary here) written by legal experts and university professors of law and veterinary medicine, with the purpose of better understanding ritual slaughter and raising public awareness on the neglected issue of animal slaughter without stunning. 

The research analyses the current context and the regulatory framework in force in Italy and in Europe, explaining the reasons supporting the proposed regulatory revision according to science, bioethics and consumer protection, accompanied by a feasibility plan. The association also consulted the interested religious communities, whose positions were duly noted and reported in the document.

The pledge is supported by an open letter that is accepting signatures by academics and veterinarians and a petition to the Italian policymakers.

Ritual slaughter has been considered a fundamental issue by animal welfare advocates for decades. During the last few years, different solutions have emerged throughout Europe, such as “reversibile slaughter” in Belgium, allowing a dramatic reduction of suffering for slaughtered animals, yet respecting the freedom of religion, as the Court of Justice of the European Union evaluated in December 2020.

The jurists and veterinarians therefore ask that the Italian policymakers make the use of pre-cut reversible stunning in ritual slaughter mandatory, as an effective compromise solution between the necessary protection of freedom of religion and a better consideration of the interests of consumers and the protection of animal welfare. This does not mean that other technical solutions could not also be explored in the future, as soon as they have been scientifically validated.

Animal Law Italia is confident that a dialogue can be established with religious communities, in order to quickly identify a shared solution capable of safeguarding the welfare of animals during ritual slaughters.

The review of the Italian regulatory framework for ritual slaughter is urgently needed, in light of the growing consideration towards better treatment of food-producing animals. The recent amendment of the Italian Constitution, which now includes animal protection amongst its fundamental principles, requires a comprehensive reform of all the previous legislation concerning animals.

Alessandro Ricciuti, lawyer and chairperson of Animal Law Italia

Read more at source

Animal Law Italia

Regards Mark

Italy: Three trucks carrying lambs sanctioned by traffic police in Italy following investigation.

Three trucks carrying lambs sanctioned by traffic police in Italy following investigation

22 April 2022

Essere Animali

During Essere Animali’s roadside checks with MEP Eleonora Evi, three trucks carrying lambs were sanctioned by the traffic police. The conditions were not adequate to guarantee that the animals could move naturally. In one case, a lamb traveled for hours with one leg stuck between the bars of the truck.

Organisation Essere Animali recently carried out checks of the trucks used to transport live animals that pass through the border with Slovenia to Italy. 

Two vehicles from Hungary and one from Romania, each carrying over 700 lambs across four floors, were identified at the border with Slovenia. They were reported to the authorities and followed at a distance for a total of over 2,500 km, until the traffic police intercepted them. The vehicles were sanctioned under Legislative Decree 25 July 2007, n. 151 which provides for the sanctions for the violation of the provisions stipulated in European Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.

In particular, the violations concerned the insufficient height of the compartments, which did not allow the animals to move naturally. The lambs’ heads touched the upper floor of the compartment, a condition that can cause bumps, bruises, and burns, as well as preventing adequate ventilation of the compartments. For violations of the provisions on animal welfare during transport, penalties can reach up to 6,000 euros.

Essere Animali’s activists also filmed a lamb that traveled for hours with one leg stuck between the truck bars, as well as issues related to the watering system installed in the vehicles, which several organisations have denounced as unsuitable for some time as it puts lambs at risk of suffering from thirst and potentially dehydration.

Last January, the European Parliament approved a series of recommendations drawn up by the ANIT Committee which do not place animal welfare at the centre of the revisions. In fact, the text approved by the majority of MEPs does not propose adequate solutions to numerous urgent problems, including the transport of animals over long distances (over 8 hours), and that of unweaned animals.

We thank MEP Eleonora Evi for her valuable collaboration, and police forces for their timely intervention. We will inform the European Commission and the Minister of Health of the outcome of the violations, providing images that document this alarming reality. The European Regulation, in addition to being frequently violated, is unable to concretely protect animals. Today it is legal to transport lambs less than two months old for journeys lasting up to 30 hours, subjecting them to conditions that cause them great stress and suffering. Together with other NGOs from all over Europe, we are calling for greater animal protection, such as a ban on the transport of live animals over long distances and unweaned animals. The European Union has the opportunity to really improve the conditions of animals; it shouldn’t betray the demands of its citizens.

Simone Montuschi, President, Essere Animali

Regards Mark