Animal abuse: a duck breeder in the Landes sentenced to ten months in prison

A duck breeder, installed in the Landes, was sentenced, Monday, November 8, to ten months suspended prison sentence for ill-treatment of animals. The criminal court of Dax combined the penalty of nearly 3,000 euros in fines for various contraventions as well as a ban on exercising a professional activity related to animals for five years.

The operator had was pinned in June 2020 by the association L214, who had posted a video showing breeding ducks living in a flood of excrement and decomposing animal corpses, wading through an unsanitary building in Lichos, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

The association had filed a complaint with the public prosecutor of Pau for cruelty to animals, abandonment, but also damage to the environment. Shortly after, the prefecture of Pyrénées-Atlantiques ordered the closure of the unsanitary building and pronounced a “Total and immediate ban” to exploit it “Until it is brought up to standard”. The breeder had several breeding sites in the Landes, but also in the Basque Country, according to France 3 New Aquitaine.

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“This is not what we wanted to do”

The Landes breeder had admitted the facts in court, explaining that he had let himself be overwhelmed by the situation, as reported France Blue Dax. « This is not what we wanted to do. Between the bird crises, the market crises, the Covid crisis and our buildings hit by a storm, we did not succeed », the 43-year-old operator told the bar. A “Harshness of the agricultural world hit by a succession of crises” that the public prosecutor recognized: « Je I would like to hear the difficulties, but in this case, it is not all the fault of external circumstances ”, explained the deputy prosecutor.

“This conviction is a little difficult in my opinion […] because his farms were the project of a lifetime “, reacted his lawyer Marine Barbe, comments relayed by France 3. “And above all, [l’interdiction d’exercer] will unfortunately imply for him a professional retraining with the economic difficulties that we are experiencing. In my opinion, the court did not take into account the financial difficulties which were its own, which undoubtedly exist and which, in my opinion, should make it possible to color this file and to understand the real context of the commission of the facts ”, she added.

Ducks wade through excrement in a duck farm.
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For her part, the co-founder of the L214 association, Brigitte Gothière, estimated, in a press release, that it was a “Important decision […] which will also be a strong signal for the entire profession ”. “The minimum rules in terms of animal condition are not to be taken lightly”, she added. The operator will also have to pay damages to two associations for the defense of animals, including L214, which had filed a civil action, said the latter.

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Animal abuse: a duck breeder in the Landes sentenced to ten months in prison