It took 8:30 a.m. of a hearing, this Friday April 1 at the Brest court, to unravel several cases of calf abuse in northern Finistère in 2019. The judgment was reserved for June 3. The breeders testified to the harm done to them by the videos of the L214 association, which claims to want to criticize a system and its large companies, with the only means at its disposal: the images of whistleblowers.
Among the facts, these kicks given by an employee of Ouest Élevage on the heads of animals, these heads that he pushed into buckets to force them to drink. The man seems to misunderstand what he is accused of. “I have always worked like this, no one has ever noticed me,” he pleaded, doubting whether to cause suffering and asking how to do otherwise, surrounded by heavy and moving calves, which can also hurt him. Judge Nathalie Le Borgne suggested creating several spaces so that there are fewer calves around him, before they get into the truck.
The employer did not respond to this inexpensive idea. He recalled that he laid off the employee, three days, and denounced the fact that an ex-employee seeks revenge by having alerted L214, “who also hates us”. Ouest Élevage also ensures that it continues to work on the issue of animal welfare.
Sébastien Arsac, prosecuted for trespassing, denies: “I was present near the farms (his phone was limited in these areas, editor’s note) to make sure of the date of the shooting of our whistleblowers but I did not enter”. L214 must answer, like him, for invasion of privacy. Their lawyer has indicated that these are rather professional facts. That the complaints must be obsolete, not having, formally, referred to the director of the publication. That the association assumes these decried methods (with videos judged to be incriminating, plot plans, inquisitive aims, etc.) which contribute to the public debate and have sent several actors in the sector to justice. She bluntly asked that Ouest Élevage no longer be able to work with animals!
Isabelle Johanny, for the prosecution, recalled that consumer demand and the resulting economic issues are at the origin of the abuses. “Citizens want to eat meat but not that animals are killed or do not want to know how it happens”.
20,000 euros fine required against two farms
She demanded a fine of €50,000 against Ouest Élevage, “prosperous” and which, according to her, discarded a little easily on its employee whom she described as a “fuse”, without clearing him. since she estimates that he must pay a fine of 750 €. It requested €20,000, half of which was suspended and €750 against a couple of breeders in the Carhaix region (for lack of care for an injured animal), as much against a farm in Léon (which allegedly kept calves in cramped and dirty places). Also twice a fine of €1,000 against a couple who admitted having delayed in notifying the rendering services, leaving dead calves to decompose down to the skeleton, outside, in a leaky crate. Disgusted, they changed jobs and now earn “three times more”, according to their lawyer, being workers! Finally, the prosecution demanded a fine of €3,000 against Sébastien Arsac and €10,000 against his association.