State measures after the video went viral on a Saone-et-Loire goat farm
On 27 October 2022, the association released a video containing the announced images from August 2022, reporting potential animal welfare deficiencies at a goat farm in Saone-et-Loire.
This press release reviews actions taken by the State since then to ensure compliance with existing regulations intended to protect both consumer and animal welfare.
1. Immediate breeding control
Following a report produced by the video, the Directorate of Population Protection (DDPP) went to the site to conduct official investigations on October 27, 2022, hours after it was posted online.
A full inspection of the farm with physical and documentary checks on aspects of animal health and protection was carried out by 4 inspectors of the veterinary service of the DDPP.
As a result of this inspection, it was found:
• that no violations were observed in the attitude of the staff involved: neither the inappropriate use of sticks to the animals, nor the abnormal use of the mobile barrier that allowed the goats to be taken earlier in the milking waiting area.
• A high mortality peak is documented in early August. This period corresponds to the peak of honey production in this farm. Newborns are then bottle-fed by staff, but they remain very fragile and vulnerable, and mortality can actually be high. The boys are fattened on site and valued economically in the butchery sector.
As at the end of every inspection by the veterinary services, an official report objectifying the observed situation was drawn up and sent to the specialist on November 9, 2022.
The report includes the inspection points (inspection grid items) deemed compliant and the observed points deemed non-compliant, graded by severity: minor (B), moderate (C), or major (D). discrepancies). A final overall rating of “C-moderate non-compliance” was given, implying administrative follow-up with a delay before new supervision.
Therefore, this inspection report was accompanied by an administrative formal notice, giving a deadline of November 28 to correct all observed discrepancies. Failure to do so resulted in the operator being prosecuted (class 5 misdemeanor).
2. Inspection criteria and results
Inspectors use a national inspection network of articles covering the rules and rely on inspection vade-mecum, tools designed to align inspectors’ practices and assessments.
These tools are publicly available on the internet for the sake of transparency towards the operators of the various sectors of the intervention. You can consult them here: https://agriculture.gouv.fr/les-vade-mecums-dinspection
• animal housing and atmosphere (protection from bad weather, access to open space, air quality and ventilation, temperature and hygrometry, lighting, surfaces per animal, etc.),
• materials and equipment,
• the general management of livestock, especially the mortality rates during the year and the care given to sick or injured animals, as well as feeding and watering,
• and finally, the number, knowledge and qualification of employees.
The animals were generally in good condition and were not obviously stressed on the day of the inspection, and the rooms were properly set up and maintained. However, inconsistencies were noted:
• major inconsistencies in livestock management: defects in monitoring and isolation of sick or injured animals, lack of special hospitals and defects in care for those animals;
• medium non-conformities: deficiencies in goat watering in the field, availability of competent temporary staff and provision of their internal training and supervision,
• minor inconsistencies: the presence of obstacles on the ground that could be a source of injury, the flow of manure to the external route of animals, some loss of the identification circuit.
3. Control of its official notification by the operator
On November 24, the entity sent a compliance plan with corrective actions for each nonconformance. The next visit on November 29, 2022 allowed to check and evaluate the implemented measures. The official notification may be withdrawn, but breeding will also be subject to unannounced re-inspections in the coming months to ensure the sustainability of the improvements made.
4. Focus on livestock control missions of DDPP
Saône-et-Loire DDPP (veterinary services), among other missions in the field of animal health and protection, is responsible for checking compliance with regulatory provisions in terms of the welfare of different types of production or recreational animals on farms. and is responsible for preventing all situations that may endanger their life and health.
Veterinary service inspectors may have the following powers under dual powers:
• Judicial police under the authority of the public prosecutor, in the case of discovery of ill-treatment that may lead to the issuance of a statement about crimes punishable by state texts (report on confirmations),
• Administrative police subordinate to the prefect, by drawing up an inspection act that may lead to administrative prosecution: warning or official notice.
Veterinary service inspectors are responsible for:
• Conduct inspections on individuals and animal husbandry specialists,
• Ensuring that infrastructures for raising and keeping domestic animals follow the strict rules established by sanitary regulations in force for each type of breeding activity: physical inspection and documentary inspection in all operating livestock facilities. The purpose of the inspection is to verify the conditions of operation and installation provided for in the regulations, to ensure the welfare of the animals and to check for any defects in care,
• To mention cases of ill-treatment (or failure to do so) of pets by professionals or individuals that may lead to a criminal act sent to the prosecutor;
• Ensure follow-up of actions taken in case of observed regulatory non-compliance.
Inspectors monitor farms:
• Or within the framework of national programs established by the General Directorate for Food (DGAL) of the Ministry of Agriculture, the priorities of which are determined locally by each DDPP according to different types of animal keeping facilities. For specific “conditionality” inspections with the help of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a part of the farms is randomly drawn (25%) and the remaining farms are targeted according to the available elements. prioritize them in the framework of the performed risk analysis.
• Citizens, specialized associations, practicing veterinarians, agricultural organizations, other bodies, etc., who denounce ill-treatment or deaths, either during reports and complaints (SCEA de la BARATTE case).