For ill-treatment of his cattle, ten of which perished, in December 2021, and for having taken comfort with the administrative obligations of managing a herd, a breeder from Taconnay was sentenced by the Criminal Court of Nevers, Wednesday October 19 , a three-month suspended prison sentence and the confiscation of his animals.
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The 61-year-old farmer will also have to compensate the OABA (Oeuvre d’Assistance aux Bêtes d’Abattoirs), the association which had recovered his livestock seized by the courts, to the tune of more than 32,200 € and pay 1,000 € fines including €750 suspended.
“Visible ribs and hips”
At the end of autumn 2021, in the midst of a cold snap, the gendarmes discovered a herd of cattle suffering in a meadow in Corvol-d’Embernard. A dozen animals died of hunger and thirst without the rendering services being informed.
Animals bear the marks of undernourishment. “The living are extremely thin. The ribs and hips are visible”, explains the president of the court, Jérémy Viale. “Why was there no watering hole in the meadow? “Questions the Deputy Prosecutor of the Republic, Axel Schneider. “There is continuous watering thanks to a stream that never dries up,” replied the defendant.
“Why didn’t the animals come back when you yourself spoke of a cold snap? “, will try to find out, on several occasions, the president and the public prosecutor without obtaining a clear answer.
The breeder justifies his behavior by his disarray after the successive deaths of his mother and father who helped him watch over the farm, by episodes of drought for three years and by chronic financial difficulties.
“Total deprivation of care and food”
To the investigators, he will explain that the lack of cash was a brake on the purchase of food. That his lack of knowledge of the internet prevented him from making mandatory declarations such as deaths, births, etc. to the competent authorities. “It’s been difficult for me since 2014,” he explains. “In the winter of 2020-2021, I lost my footing a bit,” concedes the breeder.
“He talks a lot about himself, his parents, his cash flow problems. But not a lot of the suffering of his animals”, regrets the lawyer of the OABA association who worked to put “the cattle” seized back on their feet.
“He blames the drought, but fortunately the breeders do not all find themselves before the criminal court because of it”, she pleads again, declaring that she is convinced that the sexagenarian “did not have the willingness to make his animals suffer”.
“There was a total deprivation of care and food. No veterinary follow-up. No grass in the meadow. No watering. The animals had never returned”, indignantly the vice-prosecutor of the Republic, requesting three months of suspended prison sentence, the prohibition to exercise the activity of breeder for five years, 1,700 € fines including €1,450 suspended and the confiscation of livestock. Requisitions partially followed by the criminal court.