Sarthe. Why is the State confiscating his breeding from a retired farmer: animals suppressed?

Overall the animals are doing well. ©Chafik AOUNI

97 animals are confiscated by the state on Justice decisionto a farmer from Ballon-Saint-Mars (Sarthe), in particular for lack of identification of certain animals and non-execution of formal notices. A very complicated matter.

“It all started with slanderous denunciations, some want me to sink my case to recover my land and those that I rent from two different owners. I have never abused my cows. Unlike false accusations, they don’t ramble either,” plague the breeder of soon 75 years old.

To Ballon-Saint-Mars, he is at the head of an organic herd of Limousin breed then of some crossbred elements. The man announces “97 cattle in total, of which a third have no tags”.

What are identification tags used for?

As their name indicates, the identification tags make it possible to know the origin, the identity but also the follow-up of production and to give health information on the cattle as well as other farm animals.
This number assigned at birth by a departmental breeding establishment (EdE) will then follow the animal throughout its life.
A national database brings together all the livestock animals listed by the EdEs and ensures their traceability.
These earrings, which go in pairs (one for each ear), are therefore mandatory. The owner of the calf has 20 days to affix them to the animal after birth.
If an animal loses one or both, the owner has 7 days to inform the EdE and take the necessary steps.

“It was time to do something! »

His version is contradicted by several people, including a neighbor. “His animals wandered well for several months. The Ballon Gendarmerie had to intervene several times. Moreover, two signs have been installed on the municipal road to invite drivers to be careful. It was time to do something! »

A journalist from the editorial staff visited the site of the farm. There are indeed two “Stray Animals” signs. “They were installed recently to justify the confiscation of my animals,” says the farmer.

One of the two panels to invite the public to be vigilant.
One of the two panels to invite the public to be vigilant. ©Chafik AOUNI

wanderings of animals

According to several official sources who follow this very delicate file, there would have been “animal wanderings on the road and we even found carcasses in the fields of the farmer overwhelmed by the events. There was indeed a danger for cattle and for public order. A perch was extended to him to sell his business. He did not want to seize it out of stubbornness”.

A tired man

Last Monday, on the spot, we could note that the herd was not mistreated nor aggressive. He has food and drink. We saw just three or four cows tired from old age.

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The man claims to feed his cattle himself with the help of a person wishing to remain anonymous.

They reproach me for not taking good care of my animals, it’s not true! I repeat, I have never malnourished nor struck the least of my animals. It’s true, there is negligence on my part. It is due to my age and my state of health. Since 2019, I have not been able to put the curls on the young beasts. It is also true that I can no longer remove certain waste. You should know that I have had 72 passports taken from my animals since January 2021. It is therefore impossible to sell them.

The former cow owner
The retired farmer believes that the decision is disproportionate.
The retired farmer believes that the decision is disproportionate. ©Chafik Aouni / Les Alpes Mancelles

Confiscation of animals

One thing is certain, following breaches, the man was heard by the gendarmerie during police custody and then had to explain himself to the courts.

I was told that I was going to be summoned to the criminal court. Indeed, I was tried and sentenced on March 23, 2022 to a three-month suspended prison sentence.

He also received a “prohibition for a period of 5 years to exercise the professional activity which allowed the commission of the offences; confiscation of animals as well as contraventional fines for non-execution of formal notices, failure to identify cattle and non-notification of cattle to the Departmental Livestock Establishment”.

The breeder found at fault was summoned by the prefecture, the Monday, August 29, 2022to notify him of the execution of the court decision and the coordination of the necessary actions.

Cattle Evacuation

The evacuation of the animals began in the presence of the police.

“Tuesday, August 30, the DDPP (Departmental Directorate for the Protection of the Population) removed two-thirds of the herd. She must come back to take on the rest, ”informs the pensioner.

The operations went well and will continue with respect for the animals and their owner who is going through a very difficult time. Above all, we must not neglect the human aspect in this matter.

Maurice Vavasseur, Mayor of Ballon-Saint-Mars

Moreover, the elected official does not wish to comment on the court decision.

The smooth running of the boarding of the cattle is confirmed by the prefecture. What will become of them? “Justice has entrusted their management to the DDPP. Cattle that can be upgraded will be. A solution for the rest of the livestock will be found,” replies the prefecture. Understand by this that cattle will be slaughtered.

“Disproportionate decision”

I find that the court decision is disproportionate, but on the advice of my lawyer, Maître Ifrah, I am not appealing. Now I want to know where my animals are going and get the money from their sale. I need it to do some work in my house.

The retired peasant from Ballon-Saint-Mars

One part at the slaughterhouse and the other at the rendering

“The cattle are removed by traders and put in an assembly center. The objective is to make a census of animals in good health and in good standing and those who have no identification. Valuable animals will go to the slaughterhouse and the rest will be slaughtered and will end up in rendering”, informs Agnes Wernerdirector of the DDPP.

It is difficult to know today how many animals are worthwhile and to have a serious estimate of the price of livestock. One certainty: nothing will come back to Mr. X. “It’s a confiscation by the State”, recalls Agnès Werner.

Now, we have to manage the “human side and support Mr. X. with the services of the Prefecture”, concludes the director of the DDPP.

In the aftermath, the retired farmer became unwell and was transported by firefighters to the Le Mans hospital center.

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