Shocking footage reveals animal abuse at organic meat slaughterhouse in France

Animal News : Shocking footage reveals animal suffering at organic meat slaughterhouse in France
Pigs at Bazas slaughterhouse in Gironde, France, credit: L214

Animal rights organization L214 has released shocking footage, recorded in April and May 2023, from Bazas slaughterhouse in Gironde, France, revealing horrifying conditions and abuse towards animals. 

The investigation uncovered severe breaches of regulations resulting in excessive suffering for animals such as cows, bulls, lambs, and piglets, including ineffective stunning methods, conscious bleeding, and the use of electric prods on sensitive body parts.

The footage shows animals poked with electric prods in the anus to force them to move through unsuitable corridors. Three calves who entered the wrong box are stabbed in the eye with an electric prod. 

While armor-piercing pistols should be capable of stunning animals with a single shot, the slaughterhouse employees frequently misfire and deliver multiple shots to the skulls of the animals. 

Cattle are hung from a leg on the slaughter line while still conscious (regular breathing, blinking). A cow received several shots from an armor-piercing pistol in this position before being killed with a knife.

Sheep manage to free themselves and try to flee. Some are grabbed by the tail or the ears and slammed back into boxes. They receive several shots from a piercing rod before being truly stunned, where only one shot should be used.

The pigs are stunned with electronarcosis clamps (an electric shock supposed to cause an epileptic seizure). The shock is not immediate as it should be; the pigs scream in pain when the forceps are applied.

This alarming situation is consistent with concerns raised during a 2016 veterinary inspection which pointed out ongoing malpractices, suggesting these issues have continued for over seven years, L214 said.

A semi-public company runs the Bazas slaughterhouse, which primarily processes animals from local and free-range farms. L214 has demanded an immediate closure of the facility and proposed parliamentarian visits to slaughterhouses. 

“The Bazas slaughterhouse is supposed to be a model of the best: short circuits, local, organic, labeled meat. However, the extreme suffering of the animals is undeniable, and the state veterinary services are totally inoperative,” L214 co-founder Sébastien Arsac said. 

The Gironde prefecture reacted in a press release denying the accusations, but L214 urged them to study their video footage, which was made at the slaughterhouse in April and May, again.

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