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Animal suffering becomes a key presidential election topic in France

A new shock video released by an animal welfare foundation calls on candidates to commit to improving the lot of animals and to stop being deaf to their suffering

The new video highlights common animal welfare injustices such as abandoned dogs and bullfighting injuries Pic: Tosa / Shutterstock

French animal welfare foundation 30 millions d’amis has published a shock film in a bid to demand that the 2022 presidential candidates address animal welfare issues in their election campaigns.

The video was published on November 8, along with the call: “Let us no longer remain deaf to animal suffering!”.

It shows an abandoned dog, a deer stalked and wounded by hunters, pigs crammed into a truck that is taking them to the slaughterhouse, a ‘pardoned’ bull mutilated after a bullfight, a monkey tortured in an experimental laboratory, and a bear used by a circus and locked in a cramped cage.

Video: Fondation 30 Millions d'Amis / YouTube

Please note this video contains footage that readers may find distressing.

All are howling in distress, hence the tagline to “no longer remain deaf” to the cries.

Reha Hutin, president of la Fondation 30 millions d’amis, said the video was a call to all presidential candidates, to invite them to engage with the urgent issue.

She said: “Abandonment, hunting abuses, the excesses of intensive breeding, bullfighting, animal experimentation, the exploitation of wild animals in circuses... 

“It is high time that politicians took into account animal protection as a whole. Even if there have been recent proposals for legislation, we are far from achieving this. 

“We need to go much further and for the candidates to commit themselves in their programmes to improve all animals’ lot. We can no longer remain deaf to their suffering.”

Campaigning for ‘sensitive, living beings’

Animal welfare issues have become a topic of major public debate in recent years. 

Activist groups such as L214 and the Fondation Brigitte Bardot are among those to spark regular discussion with campaigns designed to draw attention to animals in distress, and call for more legislation to protect them.

The French parliament recently voted on a historic bill on animal suffering, while in 2015, a law officially recognised that an animal is “a sensitive, living being” for the first time.

Read more: France launches €20m action plan against animal abandonment

Read more: Why French government agreement marks historic day for animal welfare

In mid-2020, a major campaign supported by Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Xavier Niel and Marc Simoncini called for a referendum on major animal protection laws, with more than a million people in France coming out in support of the six key proposals.

The Fondation 30 millions d’amis conducted a poll with Ifop for its annual barometer, dubbed ‘Les Français et le bien-être des animaux (The French public and animal wellbeing)’, and found that issues of animal welfare appear to be high on the public’s agenda.

It found that:

  • 69% believe that animals are poorly defended by politicians

  • 64% are in favour of putting an end to the sale of pets through classified ads and in pet shops to combat abandonment

  • 77% are in favour of banning hunting with hounds

  • 85% are in favour of an end to intensive breeding

  • 75% want to abolish bullfighting

  • 89% are in favour of a total ban on animal experimentation if alternative methods exist,

  • 72% want an end to wild animals in circuses.

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