According to Timothy L’Angevin
The numbers are chilling and reflect only part of the problem. The animal abuse domestic, domesticated or kept in captivity, is constantly increasing in France. No less was identified by the Ministry of the Interior 12,000 in 2021up from barely 10,000 in 2016 (ie 30% more in five years).
To combat this phenomenon, Gérald Darmanin announced this Friday, October 28, 2022, the creation of a division of investigators who are specifically responsible for animal cruelty. “This team of 15 specialized police officers and gendarmes will be attached to the Headquarters for Combating Attacks on the Environment and Public Health,” the minister states.
This is the first case in the history of law enforcement.
At this time, the territorial distribution, the exact tasks that will be assigned, or the scope of the actions have not been described in detail.
Rural areas are particularly affected
Physical violence, poor living conditions, poisoning, abandonment, even sexual abuse… the task ahead of this team will be daunting. Every year since 2016, animal attacks and abandonments have increased by 5%. With the sadly record years of 2020 and 2021 (and successive restrictions).
Every day dozens of animals fall victim to cruelty and often in complete silence. As the department points out, “violations targeting animals are mainly committed in rural areas to account for livestock, which are not very common in urban areas.”
Definitely underestimated numbers
But above all, the authorities’ figures are certainly underestimated. The recollected facts only concern those that have been judicially taken into account. For Action Protection Animale, “a large number of cases do not go to trial and are settled out of court”.
Sometimes the associations really do not know how to deal with these cases, but sometimes also the legal authorities, not very sensitive and not trained for these specific cases, refuse to intervene, accept complaints or even support actions outside of procedural proceedings. to avoid paperwork.
The association questions the “advantage of this new unit, made up of just 15 people across France”, and thinks it will not be suitable for the problem.
“Train the Judge”
On the contrary, the Stéphane Lamart association “welcomes this initiative”.
However, judges responsible for animal protection must also be legally and properly trained in animal law to avoid excessive dismissal of proven animal cruelty cases.
According to this association, only three cases out of ten lead to a conviction.
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