Calves almost at term, suffocated dead after the slaughter of pregnant cows.

Blood taken to extract fetal serum.

Cattle still conscious after having been slaughtered during ritual slaughter ... An investigator from L214, an association for the defense of animals used as food resources, infiltrated the veterinary services of a Bigard slaughterhouse and said he had observed "serious deficiencies ”Inspections in the face of“ numerous regulatory violations ”.

Thomas Saïdi, who testifies with his face uncovered in the L214 video, was hired as a “slaughterhouse controller” within a team of 15 officials from the official veterinary services of the Bigard slaughterhouse in Cuiseaux (Saône-et- Loire), with only two years of experience as a “poultry catcher” in a slaughterhouse.

"Acute suffering"

These services, which depend on the Ministry of Agriculture, are responsible for monitoring compliance with health and animal protection rules.

Without having received further training, he found himself alone in controlling the ritual slaughter after a week, said L214 in a statement released Thursday.

He then noted numerous offenses resulting in "acute and yet avoidable suffering for the animals": cattle still conscious after having been slaughtered, suspended by one leg without stunning to relieve their suffering;

cows locked in cramped pens without food for 48 hours;

severely injured animals - for example with a broken leg - waiting 10 hours before being killed, etc.

The employee also witnessed the asphyxiated fetuses of asphyxiated calves being sucked into the womb of their newly slaughtered dam for marketing purposes - proving the illegal transport of terminated cattle.

According to the association, fetal calf serum is extracted and then sold to the SeraFrance company.

The ministry calls for a "thorough" investigation

Questioned, the Ministry of Agriculture promised "a thorough investigation of the practices of this slaughterhouse" and a "complete inspection of the establishment" as of Thursday.

"Minister Julien Denormandie will take all the necessary measures, and in particular the sanctions," added the ministry.

The Bigard group (Bigard, Socopa, Charal brands), leader in beef in France and in Europe, declined to comment.

Violations are not controlled or even occur in front of the agents of the veterinary services "without triggering any reaction", and this for lack of personnel, according to L214.

"There are not enough staff, it's true that if we have to follow the rules, we have to look at all the animals at the time of slaughter, but that's not what we do in reality ”, admits the official veterinarian of the slaughterhouse during the L214 investigation.

At the Cuiseaux slaughterhouse, only 1 to 2% of slaughterings are controlled, according to the association.

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