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Unprepared game animals sold in French supermarket

The sale of hare, pheasants and other game covered in clear plastic and sold in their entirety have caused upset for some customers

3 November 2020
A supermarket aisle. Whole animals packaged in French supermarket cause upsetProtestors called the supermarket's decision to package and sell whole animals 'shocking'
By Joanna York

An E.Leclerc supermarket in France has been selling the whole animal – fur, feathers and all – wrapped in plastic, causing upset to some customers.

The supermarket, located in Morières-les-Avignon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, sold whole hare, pheasants and other game in transparent plastic wrap.

Photo causes outcry online

The issue first came to public attention when a customer posted images of the dead animals on sale in the supermarket to her Twitter account. She asked: “Is this a new way of presenting meat in our supermarket?”

The Tweet garnered attention online, including from animal protection association la Fondation Brigitte Bardot, which was critical of the supermarket’s approach.

Christophe Marie, spokesperson for the foundation, told news source Le Figaro: “We were contacted by many disgusted social media users. [It is] shocking to see these types of images.”

Many also reacted to the origin of the dead animals as they were not caught locally. One commentator responded to a Facebook post containing the images, writing: “While some might say, ‘This comes from local hunters who probably killed more than they needed’ we can see ‘Origin: Belgium’ on the label.”

The supermarket has since removed the animals from shelves and issued an apology “to anyone who was affected”. 

 

Animal rights groups also see benefits 

However, animal rights protestors have agreed the supermarket’s actions may have overall benefits for their cause.

Mr Maire said: “It is paradoxical because this could have been an awareness-raising activity carried out by activists to show that meat is, before anything else, an animal that has been killed. It’s a good thing to make customers aware of the responsibilities of what they are buying.”

Denis Schmid, spokesperson for an animal protection society in Vaucluse where the supermarket is located, told local news source Le Dauphiné: “Clients being able to see, concretely, a dead animal under the plastic wrap makes the fate of the animals we consume visible, whereas a steak or breaded fish fillet does not do that. 

“We are touching on a sinister reality. Without [seeing the dead animals] we do not always think that behind the meat or the fish, there are living animals.” 

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