The Laval public prosecutor, Anne-Lyse Jarthon, announced Thursday January 18 the opening of a judicial investigation against the municipal slaughterhouse of Craon (Mayenne), following a complaint from the L214 association, denouncing the fact that animals were still alive when they were cut up.

The association, which fights against animal abuse, filed a complaint on Wednesday for acts of cruelty, serious abuse and mistreatment, and sent more than four hours of filmed images to the courts. The complaint must be the subject of “a judicial investigation which will be entrusted to the gendarmerie,” said the Laval public prosecutor.

The association also specified to Le Monde that the establishment’s employees run risks “due to difficult handling”, recalling that in two other slaughterhouses, two employees were recently killed in the Lot and in the North.

“The State services sent a formal notice on April 21, 2023 to the operator of this slaughterhouse on the conditions of immobilization of the animals before their stunning”, which was lifted “on the following July 12 with regard to the actions corrective measures already initiated,” the prefecture said.

The city of Craon denies the accusations of L214

At the end of December 2023, “new restraint equipment more suited to all sizes of cattle was notably put into service,” continues the prefecture, for whom the installations filmed by L214 “are therefore not those currently in service within the ‘Craon slaughterhouse’.

The city of Craon defends itself and specifies for its part that “heavy investments have been made in its slaughterhouse” and denies the accusations of L214 against whom “Bertrand de Guébriant, mayor of Craon, reserves the right to file a complaint”, according to a statement.

The images, shot “at the end of last year”, according to the association’s website, show animals still conscious after stunning. “Cows react to stabbing and guillotine pliers when their front legs, horns or heads are cut off. However, at this point in the slaughter chain, the animals should be dead,” according to L214.

The association denounces “structural problems” in the slaughterhouse and “the lack of intervention by veterinary services”. “The four slaughterhouses for meat animals in Mayenne, including the Craon site, are subject to permanent inspection by the state veterinary services,” responded the prefecture in a press release.