France

C
France
Recognising animal protection

Recognising animal protection

This theme examines recognition of animal sentience and the importance of animal protection as a societal value within the country, including government support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, prohibition of cruelty and protection for different categories of animals.

C

Formal recognition of animal sentience

There is legislation with partial application

France was one of the first countries to recognise some animals as sentient beings. Law no. 76-629 of 1976 on the protection of nature declares that animals are sentient, however this applies only to animals that are owned, thus excluding free-living animals. Article 9 provides that all animals being sentient beings must be placed by their owners in conditions that are compatible with the biological imperative requirements of their species.

The Rural and Maritime Fishing Code also recognises owned animals as sentient beings, using the same wording (in Article L214-1) as in Law 76-629.

In contrast, the provisions on property ownership in the Civil Code classify animals as either moveable or immovable assets (Articles 524 and 528). In April 2014, in response to a long campaign by animal protection organisations, the legal committee of the National Assembly voted for the Civil Code to be amended to be brought into alignment with the other Codes and with the European Union, to recognise animals as sentient.[1] Before this legal change takes place it will need to be passed by the full Assembly and by the Senate.

The Penal Code makes a distinction between offences against animals and offences against property.

At European Union level, Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognises animal sentience and requires that Member States pay regard to animals’ welfare requirements in formulating and implementing European Union policies.

 

[1] http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2014/04/15/le-statut-des-animaux-progre...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

France has a long history of animal protection and was one of the first countries to introduce animal protection legislation with its 1850 Grammont law that made it an offence to mistreat domestic animals in public.

Today broad principles stemming from the 1976 law are applied to animals under human care and implemented via Articles L.214-1 to L.214-3 of the Rural Code, namely, that animals are sentient beings and must be placed by their owners in conditions that suit their biological imperatives and that it is forbidden to abuse or to mistreat them. Companion animals, farm animals, other domesticated animals, animals in laboratories and wild animals held in captivity are therefore covered by this protection. Wild animals and ownerless domesticated animals are not covered by this recognition of sentience.

The website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, which is the government Ministry responsible for animal protection, gives information on its website about its responsibilities, about work carried out in consultation with animal protection organisations, scientists and other professionals, and about its funding of research programs on the welfare of animals.[1] The Ministry advises that local authorities, the Departmental Directorates of Social Cohesion and Protection of Populations, are responsible for implementing animal protection legislation, for example by carrying out inspections.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s website also states that animal protection organisations may draw attention to cruel or ill-treatment of animals to bring about an investigation by a Departmental Directorate. The website also highlights the importance of the European Union in promoting animal protection and the obligations of Member States to report on implementation of European Union legislation.

In the past few years there has been a campaign in France for the Civil Code to be amended to give animals the status of sentient beings. This campaign demonstrates mainstream support for animal welfare.[2] Given that the 1976 law recognised (owned) animals as sentient it could be argued that action to amend the Civil Code is long overdue. However, as recently as February 2014 the French President was quoted as ruling out any amendments to the Civil Code, saying “Much effort is already made [through the recognition of sentience in the Rural Code] to look after their welfare without the need to write it into civil law”[3]. Recently a committee of the National Assembly voted to amend the Civil Code[4] but the legislation still needs to be accepted by the full Assembly and the Senate. The proposed amendment is opposed by farming industry organisations.[5]

There is some lack of regard for the suffering of animals used in certain production or leisure activities that the French deem to be traditional practices but which many other countries have banned on grounds of involving unacceptable cruelty towards sentient animals. For example, cock fighting and bull fighting are permitted in France in areas where an uninterrupted tradition can be shown or demonstrated (Article 521-1 of the Penal Code). The force-feeding of ducks and geese is also required for foie gras production (Article L654-27-1 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code).

The exclusion of wild animals from basic anti-cruelty laws and from classification as sentient animals presents an area where animal protection has yet to become a mainstream concern in France. According to the latest scientific knowledge at least all vertebrate animals are demonstrably sentient and it is recommended that French law should acknowledge this fact. This would also be consistent with the requirements of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/le-dispositif-juridique-en-matiere

[2] http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2014/04/15/le-statut-des-animaux-progre...

[3] http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2014/02/21/hollande-prefere-que-les-ani...

[4] http://lawyersforanimalprotection.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Communiq...

[5] http://www.europe1.fr/France/Statut-de-l-animal-la-FNSEA-craint-des-repe...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Advocates for amending the Civil Code to recognise animals as sentient argue that the fact that the Civil Code, the foundation of law in France, considers animals “as no different to a chair or a table” means that the courts do not apply appropriate penalties for cruelty to animals.[1] For example, although there are examples of successful prosecutions, for example, in 2014 a man was sentenced to a year in prison for cruelty to animals after posting a video of himself on the internet throwing a cat high into the air and letting it fall to hit the ground several times,[2] other penalties have included a €500 fine for neglect resulting in the death of 100 horses, and a suspended sentence for a man who tied his dog to his car and dragged it along the road for 10km.[3] The current status of animals in the Civil Code is therefore considered to be a barrier to improving animal welfare.

Exemptions in the Penal Code that permit cockfighting and bullfighting in areas where an uninterrupted tradition for them exists, and the cultural practices that underpin this, are barriers to improving animal welfare.

The exclusion of wild animals from basic animal cruelty legislation and from the legal classification as sentient beings are also barriers to improving animal welfare.

 

[1] http://www.thelocal.fr/20131025/why-animals-in-france-need-a-new-legal-s...

[2] http://www.europe1.fr/Faits-divers/Un-an-de-prison-ferme-pour-le-lanceur...

[3] http://www.thelocal.fr/20131025/why-animals-in-france-need-a-new-legal-s...

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The Penal Code makes it an offence to physically abuse or sexually abuse, or to commit an act of cruelty to a domesticated animal, or a tamed animal, or an animal held in captivity. The maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment and a €30,000 fine (Article 521-1). Offenders may also be prohibited from keeping animals for a period of five years or more and be prevented from working with animals.

D

Support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

There is partial government support

In 2009 the 27 Agriculture Ministers of the European Council, including from France, unanimously approved a statement on the UDAW encouraging the European Commission to support and initiate further international initiatives to raise awareness and create a greater consensus on animal welfare, and inviting the Member States and the Commission to support the UDAW initiative.[1] Beyond this European Union support the government does not appear to have made any independent commitments with respect to the UDAW.

Note: The Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is a proposed formal international acknowledgment of a set of principles giving animal welfare due recognition among governments and the international community. An expression of support for the UDAW demonstrates a government’s commitment to working with the international community to improve animal welfare.

 

[1] http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/agricult/106877.pdf

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The government does not appear to have made any statements about the UDAW. However, France does have animal protection legislation stating that some categories of animals are sentient and has implemented legislation to protect most categories of animals addressed by the UDAW.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There are not considered to be any financial or other barriers to the government taking steps to promote its support in principle for the UDAW.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

C

Laws against causing animal suffering

There is legislation with partial application

There is legislation to protect domesticated, tamed and captive animals. Under the Rural and Martitime Fishing Code and the Penal Code animals that are owned have protection from deliberate acts of cruelty and neglect.

Article 521-1 of the Penal Code makes it an offence to seriously physically abuse or sexually abuse, to commit an act of cruelty to, or to abandon a domesticated animal, or a tamed animal, or an animal held in captivity. There are exemptions for bullfighting where an uninterrupted local tradition can be invoked and for cockfighting in localities where an uninterrupted tradition can be established.

There are more detailed provisions in the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code; the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s website explains that abuse may be characterised by physical beatings and by situations of deprivation or neglect and that the law covers both. An example given is that under Articles L-214 to L-217 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code abuse includes depriving pet animals of food and water or failure to provide a suitable environment.[1] Another example given is that under Articles L-214 to L-218 of the Code it is considered abuse to keep outdoor cattle, sheep, goats and horses without providing facilities to protect them from climatic conditions.[2] However the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese to produce foie gras is exempted from anti-cruelty legislation.

The laws concerning deliberate and intentional cruelty do not apply to wild animals, although conservation measures are in place for mutilation, destruction, capture and poaching of endangered or protected species (the Environment Code, and Ministerial Orders listing protected species).

The limiting of the anti-cruelty legislation to domestic, captive and tamed species means that there are no basic criminal sanctions for cruelty and abuse applicable to wild animals.

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/Maltraitance

[2] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/Maltraitance

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

A 2008 series of public meetings organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry on the place of animals in society was held at the request of the President of the country and attracted widespread participation.[1]

There are well-established animal protection organisations in France, which are entitled to become party to prosecutions and to work with the authorities, for example, on investigations into mistreatment of animals and to assist with confiscation of animals.

Whilst there are many positive examples of animal welfare concern, clear divisions in French attitudes towards animals are apparent. For example, differences in the treatment of dogs kept as pets and those kept for protection, hunting or other work have been noted by visitors from other countries.[2] Pets are reported to have care and attention but dogs used for protection or hunting are often tied up or kept in cages.[3] There are reports that the authorities do not investigate complaints about the poor welfare of permanently chained or ill-treated dogs.[4]

Cases involving extreme cruelty to companion animals can attract media coverage and public outcry[5] but animal protection organisations such as One Voice[6], report that it is generally only the most extreme cases of cruelty that are investigated and prosecuted by the authorities and sometimes only after many years have been spent trying to get the authorities to take action.[7]

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Animal_Societe_Reu_cloture_Doss_Press...

[2] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Animal_Societe_Reu_cloture_Doss_Press...

[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/8615195/The-good-life-or-a-do...

[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/8615195/The-good-life-or-a-do...

[5] “Six mois ferme pour le maître de Lucky, chine martyr”,L’Aisne Nouvelle, 17 Juin 2010

[6] http://www.one-voice.fr/loisirs-et-compagnie-sans-violence/mobilisons-no...

[7] http://www.one-voice.fr/presse/proces-en-appel-du-chenil-de-loise-2/

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The exemptions given to activities involving extreme cruelty such as cock fighting, and the cultural acceptance of such activities, are barriers to improving animal welfare in France.

The lack of seriousness with which the law treats a great many acts of mistreatment or neglect of animals is a barrier to improving animal welfare in the country as there appears to be low deterrent value.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms in the Penal Code for offences relating to cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals covered by the law, namely domestic, tamed and captive animals. The penalty for the most serious cruelty issues, including abandonment of animals, is up to two years’ imprisonment and/or up to a €30,000 fine (Article 521-1). There are five other classes of offences of which class 1 is the least serious and class 5 the most serious. The penalties for some classes of offence are so low that they are unlikely to act as a significant deterrent and/or as an impetus for police and prosecutors to take action. A class 1 offence, for example, currently has a penalty of a €38 fine, a class 2 offence a fine of €150, and a class 5 offence a fine of €1,500 (Article 131-13 Penal Code). 

Departmental Veterinary Services have authority to intervene directly on the ground in situations involving abuse of animals. They may directly, or together with the gendarmerie and the police, take appropriate action. For example, they may call upon a veterinarian to carry out an assessment of the condition of the animals and their living conditions or to euthanise animals. They may also confiscate animals. Prefects in local authorities have powers to intervene in cases of ill treatment and neglect of animals (Article R214-17 Penal Code).

Administrative police measures are also available to town mayors to intervene in in certain cases. Inspections to monitor animal welfare are carried by officers of health and animal welfare of the Departmental Veterinary Services checking, for example, on care provided to animals and the conditions in which animals are kept. For example, in its 2011 report on animal welfare the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry noted that there were 1,864 visits concerning the conditions in which companion animals were being kept and 12,912 visits relating to farm animals.[1]

The police have powers to intervene directly in instances of animal cruelty under control of the prosecutor.

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/4-DGAL-RAPDAC-chap-3_cle0f3a11.pdf

B

Protecting animals used in farming

There is legislation

The provisions of the Penal Code prohibiting cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals apply to this category of animals (Article 521-1).

There is a wealth of legislation covering the welfare of animals used in farming with respect to rearing, transport and slaughter, which is based on the legal framework provided by the European Union and which reflects the minimum standards set by the European Union.[1]

Under the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, Article L214-1 provides that animals should be kept under conditions compatible with their biological requirements. Article L214-3 prohibits the abuse of domestic animals and provides that secondary legislation in the form of Decrees will make more precise rules to protect against abuse and prevent suffering. Those Decrees which have been made include the implementation of European Union Directives on the welfare of calves, pigs, laying hens, conventionally reared meat chickens and a general welfare framework Directive. The framework European Union Directive is implemented by the Decree of 25 October 1982 on rearing and keeping of animals. The requirements of this Decree include maintaining animals in a state of good health, avoiding unnecessary suffering, not keeping animals in the dark or in permanent light, providing sufficient water and food, and protecting animals kept outdoors from inclement weather and from predators. This law also contains provisions relating to the sale of animals in markets and fairs.

However the law relating to the production of foie gras still requires the force-feeding of ducks and geese in order for the product to be labelled as such, and this is protected as part of France’s cultural and gastronomic heritage (Article L654-27-1 Rural and Maritime Fishing Code).

The government advises that it is particularly concerned about the transport of animals given its important breeding activity and location at the heart of Europe.[2] France has transposed European Union legislation relating to the transport of animals, and anyone involved in transporting animals for profit has to be authorised by the departmental veterinary services (Article L214-12). Training of staff involved with the transport of animals is overseen by the Directorate General of Education and Research of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. The police have oversight of control of documents concerning animal transport, for example relating to stocking density.

In relation to slaughter, France has had legislation regarding humane slaughter since 1964.[3] Stunning is mandatory except for Islamic and Jewish slaughter, and religious slaughter must be carried out in a slaughterhouse by those authorised by a religious authority with the cattle and sheep being immobilised via a mechanical process. The government had previously transposed European Union Directive 93/119 to protect animals at the time of slaughter. This Directive was replaced from 1 January 2013 by a new European Union Slaughter Regulation (Regulation 1099/2009), which has direct effect in France and details of which are given on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.[4]

 

[1] Evaluation of the EU Policy on Animal Welfare & Possible Options for the Future, DG SANCO, Final Report, December 2010 http://www.eupaw.eu/docs/Final%20Report%20-%20EUPAW%20Evaluation.pdf

[2]http://agriculture.gouv.fr/transport,973

[3] http://www.oaba.fr/pdf/50%20ans_site.pdf

[4] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/abattoirs

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Government policy is supportive of farming animals for food, considering animal-based foods as a necessity, demonstrated, for example, by legislation requiring every meal produced in public sector schools to contain meat, egg or dairy products.[1]

The 2011 activity report of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry demonstrates an active agenda on animal health and actions related to European Union obligations on animal welfare including development of new inspection methods for broiler units.[2] During that year 12,912 inspections were carried out regarding rearing conditions of farm animals. Over 100,000 certificates for animal transport were also issued.

In July 2013 the Centre for Studies and Strategic Foresight of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry published an analysis regarding the status of farmed animals in France.[3] The paper highlights research revealing that consumer awareness regarding animal welfare and sustainable development has gained sufficient momentum in the country to influence buying habits, provided that the additional cost is not prohibitive.[4] Confirmation of this progress is illustrated by a response by the Minister of Agriculture to a parliamentary question concerning industrial rearing of farm animals in 2013: “The welfare of animals is becoming an ever more important concern amongst our citizens and is now an inescapable fact in debates about modern farming.”[5]

Whilst the government has transposed European Union legislative requirements into domestic legislation to advance farm animal welfare, the government appears to be wary of giving support to the concept of “animal welfare” within its legal framework concerning farm animals, preferring to concentrate instead on prohibiting maltreatment of animals. For example, in a 2014 debate in the French Senate amendments calling for the promotion of good welfare for farm animals in legislation were withdrawn in the face of opposition and following a contribution from the Minister of Agriculture. He said that if the amendments were to be accepted it would be the first time that the words “bien-être” (welfare, or well-being) of animals would appear in agricultural legislation.[6]

France has lagged behind some other European Union Member States with respect to implementation of legislation aimed at phasing out the most extreme confinement systems, the battery cage, the veal crate and the dry sow stall and has been criticised in audits carried out by the European Commission Food and Veterinary Office.[7] The most recent Food and Veterinary Office audit to evaluate implementation of controls for animal welfare on farms and during transport in France was undertaken in November 2012.[8] This found that certain procedures regarding long distance transport were not adequately enforced and also contained concerns about other issues including broilers and ducks.[9]

The government carries out inspections of establishments rearing animals.[10]

 

[1]For example http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/oct/26/french-government-banning-vegetarianism-schools and http://www.icdv.info/index.php?post/2011/10/23/The-legal-texts-banning-v...

[2] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/4-DGAL-RAPDAC-chap-3_cle0f3a11.pdf

[3] http://www.credoc.fr/publications/abstract.php?ref=C270

[4] http://www.credoc.fr/publications/abstract.php?ref=C270

[5] http://questions.assemblee-nationale.fr/q14/14-20689QE.htm Original French text: “Le bien-être des animaux occupe une place de plus en plus importante parmi les préoccupations de nos concitoyens et constitue désormais une donnée incontournable dans les débats sur l'élevage moderne.”

[6] http://www.senat.fr/basile/visio.do?id=d46052220140410_7&idtable=d460522...|d46052220140415_12|d46052220140414_9|d46052220140411_5|d143264-78396_9|d097635|d096335|d096846|d46052220140409_11|d143264-78367_10&_c=bien-%EAtre+animaux&rch=ds&de=20130504&au=20140504&dp=1+an&radio=dp&aff=43264&tri=p&off=0&afd=ppr&afd=ppl&afd=pjl&afd=cvn

[7] DG(SANCO) 2009-8245 and DG (SANCO) 2010-8390

[8] European Commission, DG (SANCO), Final Report of an Audit carried out in France from 12 to 22 November in order to evaluate the implementation of controls for animal welfare on farms and during transport, 2012 (DG(SANCO) 2012-6446-MR-FINAL)

[9] European Commission, DG (SANCO), Final Report of an Audit carried out in France from 12 to 22 November in order to evaluate the implementation of controls for animal welfare on farms and during transport, 2012 (DG(SANCO) 2012-6446-MR-FINAL)

[10] http://www.installationsclassees.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/Introduct...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

An analysis of farm animal welfare published in 2013 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s Centre for Studies and Strategic Foresight considers that the concept of animal welfare is difficult to capture in a way that is immediately operational in legislation in France underlining the ambiguous status of domestic animals in France.[1] The status of animals is ambiguous with farm animals being defined on the one hand in the Civil Code as mere goods but on the other hand considered as sentient beings under European Union legislation on farm animal welfare. The concept of good treatment of animals is arguably easier for farmers according to the analysis “because it merely involves ticking off the items that the former complies with on a chart”.[2]

The government has recently noted that the words “bien-être des animaux” (animal welfare) do not appear in French agricultural legislation.[3] Taking account of these debates it appears that the legal status of animals as goods in the Civil Code is a barrier to improving the welfare of farm animals in France. Additionally, a lack of understanding of modern animal welfare concepts amongst government and industry groups may also be a barrier to improving animal welfare.[4]

The legal protection under the umbrella of cultural and gastronomic heritage given to the inhumane practice of force-feeding ducks and geese, and the requirement in French law that force-feeding is used in order to produce foie gras (Article L-654-27-1 Rural and Maritime Fishing Code), is a barrier to improving animal welfare.

The lack of credible and serious penalties for offences and an apparent lack of will by the courts to deal with all but the most severe cases of cruelty in a serious way is a barrier to improving animal welfare. The European Commission Food and Veterinary Office has drawn attention to this in its 2012 audit of the French government’s implementation of European Union laws to protect animal welfare. [5] It is also noted that the European Commission called on France via letters of formal notice in 2012 and 2013 to require the government to take action to implement the requirements of European Union Directives in relation to banning barren battery cages for laying hens (Directive 1999/74)[6] and housing for pregnant sows (Directive 2008/120).[7]

 

[1] Madeleine Lesage, Centre for Studies and Strategic Foresight, Analysis No 58, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, July 2013 http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/CEP_Analysis_FarmedAnimal58_cle0e8e4d...

[2] Madeleine Lesage, Centre for Studies and Strategic Foresight, ‘Analysis’ No 58, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, July 2013 http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/CEP_Analysis_FarmedAnimal58_cle0e8e4d...

[3]http://www.senat.fr/basile/visio.do?id=d46052220140410_7&idtable=d460522...|d46052220140415_12|d46052220140414_9|d46052220140411_5|d143264-78396_9|d097635|d096335|d096846|d46052220140409_11|d143264-78367_10&_c=bien-%EAtre+animaux&rch=ds&de=20130504&au=20140504&dp=1+an&radio=dp&aff=43264&tri=p&off=0&afd=ppr&afd=ppl&afd=pjl&afd=cvn

[4] http://www.economiematin.fr/les-experts/item/9626-code-civil-animal-loi-...

[5] European Commission, DG (SANCO), Final Report of an Audit carried out in France from 12 to 22 November in order to evaluate the implementation of controls for animal welfare on farms and during transport, 2012 (DG(SANCO) 2012-6446-MR-FINAL)

[6] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-47_en.htm

[7] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-135_en.htm

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breach of the prohibition in the Penal Code of cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals is punishable with up to two years’ imprisonment and/or up to a €30,000 fine (Article 521-1).

Breach of the prohibition on abuse in Article L214-3 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code is punishable with a fixed fine (Article L215-12).

There are also enforcement mechanisms relating to the legislation on rearing, transport and slaughter of farm animals.

Departmental Directorates of Veterinary Services are tasked with applying the regulatory framework relating to farm animal rearing. They have access to the premises and facilities where animals are kept in order to monitor compliance with the law, conduct regular inspections or investigations of farms and have powers to instigate prosecutions and to remove animals. The Departmental Directorates are responsible for regular monitoring of animal welfare in slaughterhouses.

In an attempt to deal with the issue of courts imposing low penalties for animal cruelty and neglect offences, an Ordinance came into force in May 2010 enabling someone that has been found to breach the law to avoid court proceedings provided that they pay one third of the fine due and agree to make corrective actions. French authorities explained to European Commission Food and Veterinary Office auditors that this process was intended to motivate enforcement staff by enhancing their credibility with farmers and industry and that it was anticipated that this should in practice lead to greater fines than the courts would impose.[1]

 

[1] European Commission, DG (SANCO), Final Report of an Audit carried out in France from 12 to 22 November in order to evaluate the implementation of controls for animal welfare on farms and during transport, 2012 (DG(SANCO) 2012-6446-MR-FINAL)

B

Protecting animals in captivity

There is legislation

The provisions of the Penal Code prohibiting cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals apply to this category of animals (Article 521-1).

Under the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, Article L214-1 provides that animals should be kept under conditions compatible with their biological requirements. Article L214-3 prohibits the abuse of tame or captive wild animals and provides that secondary legislation in the form of Decrees will make more precise rules to protect against abuse and prevent suffering. Those Decrees which have been made include a Decree of 25 March 2004 laying down general rules of operation for zoological establishments of a fixed and permanent nature (DEVN0430016A), which incorporates the requirements of European Union Directive 1999/22. The Decree requires zoos to be licensed and to provide for the safety and security of animals and people, and incorporates animal welfare and conservation requirements. Article 10 requires animals to be kept in conditions of a high standard that satisfy their biological and species-specific requirements and permit a wide expression of natural behaviours.

Licenses to keep non-domestic animals, including in zoos, are granted by the Head of the Prefecture of the Department in question. Zoos are required to have two licenses, an operation licence for the establishment and a certificate of competence held by at least one full-time employee. The basis for the granting of licences is the ability of the applicants to comply with the legal requirements and to provide appropriate animal care. Requirements for applications for certificates of competence are outlined in a circular issued by the Ministry of Ecology on 11 April 2008.[1]

Other relevant legislation includes a Decree of 10 August 2004 which sets out requirements for establishments that care for rescued wild animals (DEVN1016197A), and specific requirements relating to the keeping of birds for use in falconry.[2]

The Environment Code regulates the keeping of wild animals in captivity. The general principles are that establishments must provide for the biological needs of animals, ensure the safety of people, encourage conservation and promote facility quality and staff expertise (Articles R413-1 to R413-5). Accommodation provided for animals must be adapted to their biological characteristics and thus meet their physiological needs.

 

[1]http://droitnature.free.fr/pdf/Arretes%20Ministeriels/Metropole/Faune%20...

[2] http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/Le-cas-particulier-de-la-detent...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

France was part of an assessment of European Union zoos carried out in 2011 to evaluate the level of implementation and enforcement of the European Union Directive 1999/22. The country report on France noted a number of serious concerns.[1] The Ministry of Ecology states that it applies its licensing and inspection procedures to 300 establishments that it defines as zoos.[2] However, as at 2011 there were a reported 943 zoos in France.[3]  The report therefore recommended that the government ensure that all permanent establishments that are open for seven days or more in a year, and that display any number of non-domestic animal species to the public, are licensed and receive regular inspections, and meet the specified requirements of Decree 25/03/2004 and the Environment Code.

This assessment also concluded that on average a quarter of enclosures inspected were not suitably environmentally complex. They concluded there was “an apparent lack of consideration for the species-specific needs of all the wild animals concerned and their care in captivity”. For example, “some species were kept in small enclosures that did not attempt to meet their spatial needs”.[4]

It is also noted that France permits the farming for fur of non-domesticated animals such as mink and fox but has not introduced any specific welfare legislation despite the species-specific needs of these animals (for example, mink are semi-aquatic).[5]

 

[1] http://www.bornfree.org.uk/zooreports/franceeng/

[2] http://www.bornfree.org.uk/zooreports/franceeng/

[3] http://www.bornfree.org.uk/zooreports/franceeng/

[4] http://www.bornfree.org.uk/zooreports/franceeng/

[5] http://eurogroupforanimals.org/files/otherpolicies/downloads/225/faanima...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The failure to implement the provisions of the relevant European Union Directive 1999/22 demonstrates that there are barriers to improving the welfare of this category of animals. The lack of species-specific guidance that includes guidance on environmental enrichment is also a structural barrier to improving animal welfare. This does not appear to be a government priority at present.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breach of the prohibition in the Penal Code of cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals is punishable with up to two years’ imprisonment and/or up to a €30,000 fine (Article 521-1).

Breach of the prohibition on abuse in Article L214-3 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code is punishable with a fixed fine (Article L215-12).

The legislation specifies that zoos must be inspected on a regular basis to ensure compliance with regulations. The website of the Ministry of Ecology gives information on the type of controls that are carried out. However, it appears that enforcement provisions do not relate to all establishments keeping wild animals in captivity, as the Ministry of Ecology advises it inspects 300 of the estimated 943 zoos in France.

B

Protecting companion animals

There is legislation

The provisions of the Penal Code prohibiting cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals apply to this category of animals (Article 521-1).

Under the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, Article L214-3 prohibits the abuse of domestic animals and provides that secondary legislation in the form of Decrees will make more precise rules to protect against abuse and prevent suffering. Those Decrees which have been made include the ratification of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (by Decree 2004-416 of 11 May 2004), which promotes the protection and humane treatment of pet animals.

The government promotes the importance of legislation concerning the protection of companion animals via a booklet “Living with a companion animal”. The key laws mentioned are the basic anti-cruelty and neglect laws in Article L-214 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code. Other legislation highlighted in the booklet to prospective or actual pet owners encompasses issues concerning the ownership and control of dangerous dogs (Articles R623-3 and 221-6-2 of the Penal Code) and requirements for all dogs and cats to be registered and identified (Article 215-15).

Under Article R214-21 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code it is illegal to carry out surgical procedures on animals for cosmetic purposes. However, tail docking is exempted.

A Decree of 25 October 1982 sets minimum requirements for the keeping of companion and other animals in accordance with Article 214-1 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, requiring animals to be placed by their owners in conditions that are compatible with their biological needs. For companion animals the Decree requires them to have access to food and water, sufficient space to move and to stand up, protection from extremes of hot and cold, a clean sheltered area and to be maintained in a good state of health. Dogs kept in kennels must have a minimum area of five square metres and a minimum height of two metres and excrement must be removed daily. Permanently leashed dogs must have a chain proportionate to their size and strength that permits them to stand up, lie down and to move freely. Animals must not be left in cars unless they are protected from heat and have sufficient air. The Decree permits pet shops to display pets in their windows provided measures have been taken to protect the animals from the sun, excessive hot, cold or light levels ensuring that sufficient air is available.

The 6 January 1999 Law 99-5 relating to dangerous and stray animals and animal welfare makes Mayors responsible for ensuring that there are facilities for stray animals and procedures for collecting such animals. Mayors are also required to institute measures to prevent stray dogs and cats by requiring dogs in the town to be leashed and muzzled. Under the law of 20 June 2008 all dog bites must be reported to town mayors and the owner of the dog must take his animal to a veterinarian for a health and behaviour check.

Under Article 214-6 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, professional breeders of dogs and cats are subject to inspection and must register with the Departmental Directorate of Veterinary Services. The law requires at least one person in direct contact with the animals to have a certificate of competence attesting to his knowledge of the species concerned including biological, physiological and behavioural needs. Establishments with more than nine dogs over four months of age are subject to rules governing classified facilities and must have be licenced to operate.

Under Article 214-8 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code the purchaser of a pet must be provided at the time of delivery by the seller with a certificate of disposal, background information on the characteristics and needs of the animal and a veterinary certificate. Roadside sales or transfers of pets are prohibited.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The government has invested time and resources in promoting responsible pet ownership and raising awareness of the needs of companion animals, for example, via the publication “Living with a companion animal”, which is available from veterinary practices, breeders, animal shelters, municipalities and other organisations according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s website. [1]

Today two out of three households have one or more pets.[2] In 2002 the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry published a booklet on the welfare of animals introduced with a charter of fundamental principles for the relationship between man and animal that included the statement that animals have a right to respect and that society must safeguard the welfare of animals that it uses.[3] However these principles do not themselves have any legislative status.

Addressing cruelty to pets appears to be a mainstream concern of much of society in France, with cases involving extreme cruelty attracting widespread media coverage and public outcry. However, animal protection organisations report that it is only the most extreme cases of cruelty that are investigated and prosecuted and sometimes only after long delays.[4] For example, in one 2011 case involving the confiscation of 46 dogs from breeders an animal protection organisation had a dossier of concerns raised with enforcement authorities dating back to 1999.[5]

The government has advised that it discourages the keeping of wild animals as pets because of the difficulty of meeting their needs.[6] 

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/animaux_compagnie_Guide_bien_vivre_20...

[2] http://www.ifaheurope.org/companion-animals/about-pets.html

[3] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/bien_etre-1.pdf

[4] http://www.one-voice.fr/presse/proces-en-appel-du-chenil-de-loise-2/

[5] http://www.one-voice.fr/presse/sevices-graves-dans-un-chenil-de-l’oise/

[6] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/bien_etre-1.pdf

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The lack of imposition of a duty of care on those responsible for animals combined with the lack of serious penalties for many acts of mistreatment or neglect of animals is a barrier to improving animal welfare in the country. This is exacerbated by the lack of status given to companion animals in law.

Although stricter penalties apply for the most serious cases of cruelty, it appears that the lack of serious penalties for other classes of offences means that there is a tendency to only prosecute in cases of extreme cruelty.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breach of the prohibition in the Penal Code of cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals is punishable with up to two years’ imprisonment and/or up to a €30,000 fine (Article 521-1).

Breach of the prohibition on abuse in Article L214-3, the rule on breeders in Article L214-6 and the rule on sale of pets in Article L214-8 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code is punishable with a fixed fine (Article L215-12).

C

Protecting animals used for draught and recreation

There is legislation

The provisions of the Penal Code prohibiting cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals apply to this category of animals (Article 521-1).

Under the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, Article L214-3 prohibits the abuse of domestic animals and provides that secondary legislation in the form of Decrees will make more precise rules to protect against abuse and prevent suffering. Those Decrees which have been made include general minimum requirements relating to the keeping of animals in the Decree of 25 October 1982 on rearing and keeping of animals. This includes domestic equines. Requirements include maintaining animals in a state of good health, avoiding unnecessary suffering, not keeping animals in the dark or in permanent light and providing sufficient water and food.

Under the Environment Code, wild animals kept in captivity must be provided with conditions that are adapted to their biological characteristics and thus meet their physiological needs (Articles R413-1 to R413-5).

A specific decree of 18 March 2011 deals with the keeping of non-domestic animals in travelling spectacles such as circuses. This includes a requirement for animals to be kept in conditions that satisfy their biological and behavioural needs in line with the Environment Code, together with provisions requiring that animals have the possibility to exercise outside each day, have sufficient room in any outdoor enclosures to move freely, have a suitable diet and receive veterinary treatment if they are sick or injured (DEVL1108130A). The law also requires an employee responsible for animals in a circus to hold a certificate of competence under Articles 213 -2 and 214-4 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code. Circuses with non-domesticated animal species must also be authorised by the Prefect of the Department in which they are situated.[1] Animals must not be altered or drugged other than for reasons of their own health.[2] Transport of circus animals must be carried out in accordance with European Union Directives concerning animal transport. Circuses must also comply with endangered species legislation.

Dog fighting is prohibited under the basic anti-cruelty provision in Article 521-1 of the Penal Code. However, certain activities are exempted from the anti-cruelty legislation; namely bullfighting where an uninterrupted local tradition can be invoked and cockfighting in localities where an uninterrupted tradition can be established. The term “uninterrupted local tradition” has been left to individual courts to define. [3] The word “invoked” refers to a fact and the word “demonstrated” refers to the interest of the public.[4] The Court of Appeal in Toulouse designated the Pyrenees, Garonne, Provence, Languedoc, French Catalonia, Gascony, Landes and the Basque Country as localities with a strong bullfighting tradition. However, the highest judicial Court of Cassation had a more restrictive interpretation.[5] It is an offence to build a new “gallodrome” (cock fighting arena). In the French mainland cock fighting is permitted in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, and in overseas territories cock fighting is permitted on Reunion Island, French Guyana, French Antigua (Martinique and Guadeloupe) and French Polynesia.

 

[1] http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/lettre/dossiers/sup90.pdf

[2] http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/lettre/dossiers/sup90.pdf

[3] Lois Laimene Lelanchon, Detailed Discussion of Anti-maltreatment laws in France and Spain, Animal Legal & Historical Centre, Michigan State University College of Law, 2013

[4] Lois Laimene Lelanchon, Detailed Discussion of Anti-maltreatment laws in France and Spain, Animal Legal & Historical Centre, Michigan State University College of Law, 2013

[5] Lois Laimene Lelanchon, Detailed Discussion of Anti-maltreatment laws in France and Spain, Animal Legal & Historical Centre, Michigan State University College of Law, 2013

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There are estimated to be some 100 to 150 travelling circuses using wild animals in the country.[1]

A 2003 working paper produced by the European Parliament’s Directorate for Research on the situation of the circus in European Union Member States notes that circuses are promoted and supported by the French government. For example, the Department of Theatre and Entertainment of the Ministry of Culture was reported to subsidise 94% of the circus activities in France. The research paper highlighted a report on travelling circuses in France produced by the Ligue Française des Droits de l'Animal or LFDA (French League for Animal Rights), which criticised the conditions in which animals are held because of the total contradiction with their behavioural needs and the practice of ignoring species-specific requirements. For example, the report highlighted that animals such as elephants, hippopotamuses, polar bears and sea-lions require large quantities of water that circuses cannot provide.[2]

However, some mayors have taken action to ban circuses using captive wild animals from their towns. For example, the mayors of Bagnolet, Fontenay-sous-Bois, Creil and Montreuil.[3] [4] In contrast the Ministry of Culture and Communication encourages communes in France to welcome circuses.[5]

Legislation with respect to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has been applied to a circus animal in France: a 13-year-old hippopotamus born in France was confiscated in 2007 for being held without necessary CITES documentation.[6]

Legal action attempting to overturn the bullfighting exemptions from basic anti-cruelty legislation has failed. The French Constitutional Court found that “traditional” fights held in areas of southern France “do not harm people's protected constitutional rights". A recent opinion poll was reported to show that 48% of the population supports a ban on bullfighting, although some polls have demonstrated more support.[7] A French Interior Minister spoke in favour of bullfighting during a visit to Barcelona.[8]

 

[1] http://leplus.nouvelobs.com/contribution/1126655-les-animaux-sauvages-in...

[2] European Parliament Directorate-General for Research, Working Paper, The situation of the circus in the EU Member States, Education and Culture Series DUC 111 EN 08 – 2003

[3] http://leplus.nouvelobs.com/contribution/1126655-les-animaux-sauvages-in...

[4] http://www.notre-planete.info/actualites/actu_1797_Montreuil_interdictio...

[5] http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/lettre/dossiers/sup90.pdf

[6] http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-172517419.html 

[7] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19673414

[8] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19673414

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The existence of travelling circuses using wild animals is a barrier to improving animal welfare as it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to meet the needs of wild animals that are continually in transit or temporary accommodation. The lack of application of laws to safeguard the welfare of wild animals in circuses is a barrier to improving animal welfare on which it appears the government does not intend to be active in future.[1] Government support for circuses using wild animals is a significant barrier to improving welfare of this category of animals.

The government’s support for traditional activities involving cruelty to animals (such as fighting), and cultural acceptance of these activities, represents a barrier to improving animal welfare in this category.

 

[1] http://questions.assemblee-nationale.fr/q14/14-5061QE.htm

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breach of the prohibition in the Penal Code of cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals is punishable with up to two years’ imprisonment and/or up to a €30,000 fine (Article 521-1).

Breach of the prohibition on abuse in Article L214-3 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code is punishable with a fixed fine (Article L215-12).

Article 215-11 of the Rural Code provides for a penalty of six months imprisonment and a fine of €7,500 for unnecessary bad treatment of animals by any person operating a retail, grooming, dressage or public exhibition of pets business or a shelter or breeding facility. The operator may also incur an additional penalty under part 11 of the Penal Code 131-6.

There are enforcement mechanisms with respect to certificates of competence.

B

Protecting animals used in scientific research

There is legislation

The use of alternative methods in animal experiments when scientific objectives can be achieved without using laboratory animals has been a legal requirement in France since 1976 (Law 76-629).

The provisions of the Penal Code prohibiting cruelty, abuse and mistreatment of animals apply to this category of animals (Article 521-1).

Under the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, Article L214-3 prohibits the abuse of domestic and captive animals and provides that secondary legislation in the form of Decrees will make more precise rules to protect against abuse and prevent suffering. The Article confirms that this applies to scientific experiments and reiterates that these must be limited to strict necessity. Those Decrees which have been made include Decree 87-848 of 19 October 1987 relating to experimentation on vertebrates, which sets out licensing and welfare requirements and establishes a National Commission for Animal Experimentation (AGRG8701834D), and Decree 2013-118 of 1 February 2014 on the ethical evaluation and authorisation of projects involving the use of animals in experimental procedures (AGRG1231951D), which implements European Union Directive 2010/63.

There is further detailed regulation in Articles R214-87 to R215-10 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code. The legislation is founded on the principle of the Three Rs and has detailed requirements regarding the establishment of ethical committees and the design of projects. The law requires licensing of all projects using animals by the Department of Research. Each facility must appoint a management structure to monitor the well-being of animals, to verify the qualifications of personnel and to take responsibility for animal care and the design of projects. A veterinarian (or a suitably qualified expert) must be designated to advise on the welfare of animals. Article R214-112 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code permits the donation of unwanted animals by laboratories to animal protection organisations with the authorisation of the Prefect of the Department concerned, provided that a veterinarian attests there is no danger to public health, animal health and the environment.

Article R511-1 of the Penal Code states that the requirements for scientific or experimental research on animals referred to in Article 511-2 are fixed by Decree 87-848 and it has been implemented within the Rural Code (Articles L231-1, L214-3, R214-87.)

In 2005 the government established a National Ethics Committee for animal experiments. In 2008 the government published a National Charter on the ethics of animal experimentation that commences with a foreword that includes the statement: “animals are sensitive beings, capable of suffering, with cognitive and emotional functions and physiological and behavioural specific needs unique to each species”. The Charter has nine articles including general principles regarding the use of methods and techniques aimed at eliminating or reducing to an absolute minimum the suffering of animals and careful consideration of a sound scientific, ethical and societal basis to justify the use of an animal before any experiment begins.[1]

The transport of laboratory animals (by road, sea or air) is regulated and subject to official controls under the same conditions as other animals.

Cosmetic testing is banned under European Union Regulation 1223/2009.

 

[1] http://www.aaalac.org/accreditation/RefResources/chartexpanimalenglish%2...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The latest published European Union statistics relating to the use of animals for scientific research reveal that French researchers accounted for one fifth of the European total of 11.5 million animals used in experiments in 2011.[1]

The government has developed some structures and legislation to promote the Three Rs. In 2006 FRANCOPA, the French platform to promote the development, validation, and dissemination of alternative methods in animal testing, was established following a meeting at the Ministry of Research.[2] The platform brings together key stakeholders within France including industry, academic institutions, and NGOs. It is chaired by the French Health Products Safety Agency. FRANCOPA has joined the European platform ECOPA (European Consensus Platform for Alternatives). In 2011 FRANCOPA organised a workshop in Paris at which the Director for Research and Innovation at the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research advised that the principle of utilising alternatives to animals is one that seems simple but is extremely difficult to implement. He emphasised “our responsibility to promote an optimal and rational development of alternative methods to animal testing”.[3]

These recent initiatives by the government are to be welcomed. They show a change in policy; in 2005 the government had resisted the European Union ban on the testing of cosmetics products on animals, taking its case to the European Court of Justice (where it was rejected).[4]

 

[1] http://www.thelocal.fr/20140106/france-is-europes-leader-for-animal-testing

[2] http://www.francopa.fr/web/francopa?page=home&out=txt&languageIhm=eng 

[3] http://www.francopa.fr/web/pdf/francopa/waiving.pdf

[4] http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/France-loses-a...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

A lack of financial investment in the development of alternatives to the use of animals in experiments may be a barrier to improving animal welfare. In 2014 France was reported not to have responded to funding of alternatives according to European Union legal obligations.[1]

 

[1] http://www.altex.ch/resources/epub_Taylor_140124.pdf

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Violations of obligations relating to the practice of animal testing are punished in accordance with the provisions of Articles 521-1 and 521-2 of the Penal Code. The 2011 report on activities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry reports that 225 laboratories were inspected.[1]

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/4-DGAL-RAPDAC-chap-3_cle0f3a11.pdf

D

Protecting the welfare of wild animals

There is legislation with partial application

Unless captive, wild animals are not protected by basic anti-cruelty legislation and are not recognised as sentient animals by the law.

Some legal provisions apply to wild animals relating to their protection or management for either conservation or hunting purposes.

The Environment Code defines regulations that apply to hunting in Articles 420-1 to 420-4. The law has been updated numerous times, most recently in 2012. A summary of the laws appears on the website of the Ministry of Ecology.[1] The law states that hunting has environmental, cultural, social, and economic characteristics, which contribute to sustainable management of wildlife and habitats. Hunters must have a permit to hunt dependent on paying appropriate fees and passing an exam regarding their competence. Control of hunting is collaboration between the Ministry of Ecology, the National Federation and regional hunting federations.

The National Federation of Hunters has developed a National Charter for Hunting that has legal status within the Environment Code.[2] The National Charter for Hunting sets out the principles of sustainable development of hunting and its contribution to the conservation of biodiversity. The Charter establishes a code of good conduct for hunters and good hunting practices. There are seven principles including commitment to sustainable hunting and to raising awareness of sensible hunting practices and respect for nature.[3] However, there is no mention of animal welfare issues regarding hunted animals.

The trapping of a wide range of animals is permitted under the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code. However, the law stipulates that new trap designs should not be approved without authorisation following consultation with, for example, animal protection organisations. Article R227-13 provides for the Ministry responsible for hunting to set conditions for the use of traps with the potential to cause trauma in order to assure public safety and to limit animal suffering. 

A number of Ministerial Orders have been passed relating to protection of certain species including birds, reptiles and amphibians (for example, DEVN0914202A: Order of 29 October 2009, DEVN0766175A: Order of 19 November 2007, and DEVN0805753A: Order of 29 April 2008). The country has several endangered species including brown bears and wolves. It is an offence to mutilate, capture or remove or to intentionally disturb such animals. It is also an offence to destroy or degrade their breeding sites and resting places. Additionally such species may not be detained, transported, or offered for sale and must not be used for either commercial or non-commercial purposes. 

 

[1] http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/L-organisation-de-la-chasse.html

[2] http://www.chasseurdefrance.com/Decouvrir-la-chasse/Charte-de-la-chasse-...

[3] http://www.chasseurdefrance.com/Decouvrir-la-chasse/Charte-de-la-chasse-...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

With the exception of issues relating to species protection under international and national laws and a mention of limiting animal suffering with respect to the trapping of animals, there appears to be little regard for the welfare of individual wild animals both in law and in policy. It is difficult to draw any conclusion other than that the welfare of wild animals is not a mainstream issue in the country. The range of offences arising out of hunting relates not to any animal welfare issues but rather to conservation issues regarding seasonality, the place of hunting, permits and protected species.

A wide-range of inhumane activities involving wildlife is permitted even though some have been banned elsewhere on cruelty grounds. Hunting methods permitted include hunting of animals with dogs on horseback and on foot, hunting with bows and hunting with dogs underground. Examples of animal suffering during hunting in France have attracted media coverage in the country.[1]

Whilst the law on trapping states that animal suffering should be limited, a wide variety of indiscriminate traps are permitted with the potential to cause animal suffering.

 

[1] http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2013/01/05/1528991-plainte-apres-une-bat...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The apparent exclusion of animal protection organisations from the development of hunting laws and governance of hunting is a potential barrier to improving animal welfare. The explicit legal permission for many inhumane hunting activities legitimises these and acts as a barrier to improvement.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms relating to the laws that are in place with respect to conservation and game management aspects.

Governance structures and systems

Governance structures and systems

This theme examines government commitment to improving animal protection. This includes whether there is allocation of responsibility, accountability and resources within government.

B

Government accountability for animal welfare

There is legislation

The General Directorate for Food, which forms part of the Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, is responsible for the protection of most animals and legislation makes references to the Ministry and its various subsidiary bodies. 

The Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy is responsible for issues concerning free-roaming wild animals and collaborates with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry on issues concerning captive wild animals.

The issue of animal experimentation is covered by several Ministers, the Ministers of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Higher Education and Research.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has an active animal protection programme, highlighted for example in its 2011 report.[1] The programme includes investment in animal welfare research and provision of funding to assist French farmers to comply with European Union legislation, for example, regarding battery cages and dry sow stalls.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has also resourced stakeholder involvement and materials, for example, producing the “Living with a Companion Animal’ booklet, and organising the ground-breaking Meetings on Animals and Society in 2008 and platforms such as FRANCOPA.

France consists of 96 Departments and legislation on animal protection also assigns responsibilities to departmental authorities.

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/4-DGAL-RAPDAC-chap-3_cle0f3a11.pdf

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Inspections to ascertain compliance with the law are carried out by departmental authorities across France on a range of issues, for example, regarding the conditions in which animals are kept in farms, laboratories and zoos. 

However, inspections by the European Union’s Food and Veterinary Office have exposed issues in the country with respect to implementation and enforcement of animal welfare[1]. In its latest 2012 audit report  the FVO noted that the government and authorities had made and were making progress on key concerns raised, although there appeared to be some recurring concerns.[2] The government has been relatively slow to implement European Union legislation in certain areas with respect to the welfare of farm and laboratory animals. In relation to implementation of the bans on battery cages[3] and sow stalls[4], lack of implementation within the required timescales resulted in action by the European Commission. In the case of the recent European Union ban on the testing of cosmetic products on animals, the French government brought legal challenge against the European Commission in an attempt to overturn the ban, but was ultimately unsuccessful in this attempt[5].

Whilst the individual responsibilities within the government are clear, the government has not put into place an overall strategy for improving animal welfare and has not appointed a specific government member with overall responsibility for improving animal welfare within the country.

 

[1] DG (SANCO) 2007-7330; DG (SANCO) 2009-8245; DG (SANCO) 2010-8390; DG (SANCO) 2012-6446

[2] European Commission, DG (SANCO), Final Report of an Audit carried out in France from 12 to 22 November in order to evaluate the implementation of controls for animal welfare on farms and during transport, 2012 (DG(SANCO) 2012-6446-MR-FINAL)

[3] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-47_en.htm

[4] http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/shotlist.cfm?ref=I076182

[5] http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/France-loses-a...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Animal welfare is becoming established in France, as discussed by the strategic analysis produced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.[1]

Consequently the government is recommended to consider developing an overall strategy for improving the welfare of all categories of animals. The lack of an overall strategy against which progress can be monitored and reported is at present a barrier to improving animal welfare. Other barriers to progress include the government’s support, on grounds of tradition, of cruel activities such as cock and bull fighting and the use of wild animals in circuses. The legal basis of the collaboration between the Ministry of Ecology and the National Federation of Hunters also represents a potential barrier to improving animal welfare as non-hunting stakeholders appear to be excluded from this process.

 

[1] Madeleine Lesage, Centre for Studies and Strategic Foresight, Analysis No 58, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, July 2013 http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/CEP_Analysis_FarmedAnimal58_cle0e8e4d...

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Responsibility for the various different categories of animals is mandated by legislation.

Animal welfare standards

Animal welfare standards

This theme examines whether the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s animal welfare standards have been incorporated into law or policy, the extent of engagement with the OIE on animal welfare issues, and whether the government publishes reports on progress in improving animal welfare.

C

Engagement with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

There is policy

The international headquarters of the OIE are based in France under an agreement signed on 25 January 1924 between the OIE and France. In 1977 the OIE and the Republic of France signed a further agreement establishing permanent headquarters of the OIE in Paris.[1] The current Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat, is French and worked previously with the French government.[2] France also has an OIE collaborating centre based in Montpelier engaging on issues concerning diagnosis, epidemiology and control of animal diseases in tropical regions.

France is a member of the OIE’s Regional Platform for Europe.

Examination of activity reports by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry reveals engagement by France with the OIE on issues concerning animal health. There is a link to the OIE on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s website.[3]

 

[1] http://www.oie.int/about-us/key-texts/basic-texts/headquarters-agreement...

[2] http://www.oie.int/about-us/director-general-office/biography/

[3] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/Rage-situation-en-France

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The OIE’s guiding principles and standards are broadly covered by the legislation and policy of the

French government and there is engagement on animal health issues. However there does not appear to be specific engagement with respect to improving animal welfare, from information available on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Relevant reports, including the 2011 activity report of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, focus on the work carried out with the OIE on animal health and disease issues, where France plays a very active and valuable role.[1] For example, a French publication on avian flu gives details of extensive engagement internationally with the OIE, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation, involving financial outlay of €39.5 million by the French government and assignment of ten experts as well as support for emergency missions and the carrying out of research.[2] The expenditure included support of €2.1M to the OIE’s regional representative bureaus.

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/4-DGAL-RAPDAC-chap-3_cle0f3a11.pdf

[2] http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/IMG/pdf/555_Grippe_aviaire_ang.pdf

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Given the scope of the government’s support for the OIE on animal health issues, there do not appear to be significant barriers to increasing engagement on working with the OIE to improve animal welfare internationally, regionally and nationally. France is a member of the OIE’s Regional Platform for Europe, which presents a potential opportunity for increasing collaboration on animal welfare issues given political will to do so.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The government has signed official engagement agreements with the OIE, although existing collaboration is on matters of animal health rather than broader welfare concerns.

A

OIE animal welfare standards

There is legislation

The OIE’s guiding principles are based on an assessment of animal welfare using the internationally accepted concept of the “Five Freedoms”. In regard to the welfare of animals used for scientific purposes the OIE also recognises the principle of the “Three Rs” (reduction, refinement, replacement).

French legislation highlights the importance of meeting the biological and species-specific needs of animals and stipulates that domesticated animals and captive or tame wild animals must be provided with food and water, medical treatment in case of disease or injury. There is also reference to the use of humane killing to alleviate both physical and psychological suffering (Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, Article R214-17). Legislation is therefore broadly reflective of the guiding principles of the OIE.

Legislation concerning animal experimentation is based on the principles of the Three Rs and is thus also in line with the OIE principles.

With respect to the OIE’s animal welfare standards France has transposed European Union Regulations and Directives which cover the areas included within the OIE’s standards.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The government is active on the issue of animal welfare, as evidenced by its legislative and enforcement programme, notably with respect to agricultural animals, stray animal control and the use of animals in science.

It would be beneficial to focus more on taking positive actions to promote good animal welfare, in addition to the existing legislation and policy addressing poor welfare.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There are considered to be no significant barriers to the government putting into place all of the OIE’s requirements concerning animal health.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Enforcement mechanisms have been put into place for those provisions in animal protection legislation in France which incorporate the content of the OIE’s standards.

D

Reporting on progress

There is policy

The General Directorate for Food, which forms part of the Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, issues reports on the latest news activities on animal health and animal welfare.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The General Directorate for Food publishes an annual report in which it highlights key developments. For example, the 2009/10 report highlighted work to implement European Union legislation on battery cages and animal experimentation.[1] The 2011 report gave updates on the transposition of European Union animal protection legislation.[2] Within these reports awareness is raised regarding the need to improve animal health and welfare.

The government has not developed an overall strategy to improve animal welfare against which it reports progress towards goals set to monitor and improve animal welfare standards. As an interim measure all Ministry departments with responsibilities for animal protection are encouraged to report on their progress.

 

[1] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/RAP_2010_p68-85_ra_dgal_web_260711-4_...

[2] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/4-DGAL-RAPDAC-chap-3_cle0f3a11.pdf

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The lack of a comprehensive animal welfare strategy with goals against which progress can be monitored and reported is a barrier to improving animal welfare.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Providing humane education

Providing humane education

This theme examines whether issues of animal care and protection are included in the national education system at primary and secondary level, and comments on whether animal welfare issues such as humane handling form part of veterinary medicine education.

G

Education on animal care and protection

There is no policy or legislation

Animal care and protection issues are at present not included in the French education system.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

No evidence was found that France’s education system promotes humane animal care or animal protection. There is however a research centre embedded in the CNRS University of Paris- Descartes, a state funded entity and part of the most prominent scientific research body of France (CNRS- National Centre for Scientific Research). As part of its research it has a department focused on animal ethics and the condition of animals.[1]

Animal protection organisations in the country dedicate resources to the production of educational materials. The Fondation Droit Animal has reported that it received requests for 6,000 copies of one resource from teachers.[2]

 

[1] http://cerses.shs.univ-paris5.fr/spip.php?article531

[2] http://www.fondation-droit-animal.org/rubriques/education/education.htm

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Although humane education is not currently part of the national curriculum, the existence of related issues in education may present an opportunity for animal protection to be introduced. An example was found of a three-year project introduced by the French Government to all schools to promote education in the areas of the environment and sustainable development.[1] It is therefore considered that, given political will to do so, other subjects could be introduced to the system, for example, animal care and protection. The Ministry of Culture and Communication’s encouragement of schools in France to engage with circuses, including those using wild animals, is a barrier to humane education.[2]

 

[1]http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/esd/GoodPractices/Submissions/Cou...

[2] Charte d’accueil des cirques dans les communes

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Promoting communication and awareness

Promoting communication and awareness

This theme examines whether there is government consultation and engagement with relevant stakeholders on animal protection issues, such as the development of new legislation and policy and the licensing of scientific research using animals.

B

Consultation with stakeholders

There is legislation

Legislation concerning companion animals and animals used in experimentation includes provisions for the government to work with NGOs and others, for example, with respect to sheltering stray animals in communities (Law 99-5 of 6 January 1999) and membership of ethical committees (Decree 87-848 of 19 October 1987).

The government has also launched initiatives in the past that bring stakeholders together to discuss animal protection issues, notably the 2008 meetings on Animals and Society.[1]

 

[1] http://www.vie-publique.fr/actualite/alaune/animaux-lancement-rencontres...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The government works with others with respect to European Union legislation. The 2008 meetings on Animals and Society[1] showed promise with respect to working with others to develop a national strategy aimed at improving animal welfare within the country. Following those meetings the government demonstrated an effective example of working with stakeholders to improve animal welfare via collaboration to promote responsible pet ownership.[2] However the promise of those meetings does not appear to have been fulfilled with respect to a national charter governing human relations with animals and animal welfare.

 

[1] http://www.vie-publique.fr/actualite/alaune/animaux-lancement-rencontres...

[2] http://agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/bien_etre-1.pdf

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There appear to be some barriers with respect to the government working with others to improve the welfare of certain categories of animals, for example, wild animals and animals used in activities considered to be important on grounds of either tradition, culture or social or economic reasons. For example, hunting, bullfighting, cockfighting, force-feeding in foie gras production and the use of wild animals by circuses.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Some stakeholder bodies such as the National Commission on Animal Experimentation have been formed as a result of a legislative requirement. Where such legislative requirements for consultation exist, there are enforcement mechanisms in the form of challenge to government bodies for failure to carry out such consultation. It would assist if the government put into place a structure to work with others to improve animal protection nationally.

Countries Selected
Select up to four countries and then select 'Compare' to start contrasting animal welfare standards

The French economy seems to be slowing down. The banking sector is particular “susceptible to a further intensification of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis”. Business investment is also weak; companies in France are currently working to low profit margins of 28%. Although France is “one of the most productive economies in the world". it has the lowest rate of employment in the EU; currently, unemployment is high at 11%. It’s a more positive picture on exports as they are likely to grow due to modest recovery in Europe.  Household consumption is also expected to remain buoyant as inflation is weak. In the long term, the EIU predicts that the possibility of growth will be contingent on France’s “ability to raise its rate of productivity growth”. Real GDP growth is forecast to be 1.1% and 1.8% for the period 2013-20 and 2021-30, respectively.

 

Date of information: 11/02/2014
Population 
65,696,689
GDP 
$2,612,878,387,760
GDP (PPP) 
$36,104
Education expenditure (% of GDP) 
5.9 (2009)