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France Launches Action on Animal Welfare

11 April 2016, at 6:00am

FRANCE - New animal welfare rules from France will aim to place welfare at the heart of the agriculture strategy, according to farming minister Stéphane Le Foll.

The 2016-2020 action plan was developed in collaboration with industry and sets out 20 priority actions, focused on research and innovation, accountability of all professionals especially in abattoirs, and sharing of information with citizens but also between industry partners.

The move follows an undercover video shot in a slaughterhouse in Pays de Soule, Mauleon in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, which allegedly showed acts of abuse against animals.

Mr Le Foll's proposals to tackle such abuse included the creation of an offence of abuse against animals in slaughterhouses and during transport, establishment of a person responsible for welfare in each abattoir, and greater protections for whistleblowers.

Among the other actions announced, Stéphane Le Foll particularly welcomed €4.3 million in support that will be going towards the development of an experimental method for sexing embryos in the egg, to prevent culling of male day-old layer chicks. Germany's agriculture department is also funding similar research, with a view to ending culling of male chicks within a few years.

The plan will also establish a national reference centre for animal welfare by the end of 2016.

Further Reading

Find out more about the 20 actions by clicking here (in French).

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