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Maltraitance animale : comment la signaler et quelles sont les sanctions encourues ?

By March 3rd 2023March 15th, 2023No Comments

Document type : article published in Le Figaro

Author : Mathilde Hardy

Preview: Unfortunately, cases of abuse are not isolated, despite the fact that the law dictates that animals are living beings endowed with feelings. So how do we report a case of animal abuse and what are the penalties for the perpetrator? Here are the answers.
In 2021, French law enforcement agencies recorded 12,000 offences involving pets or livestock (Ministry of the Interior, 28 October 2022). There are ways available to report and have abuse against cats, dogs or any other species stopped. You can contact an animal protection association, the police, or your DDPP. If the action comes to court, the perpetrator may be subject to legal punishment.
How do we decide whether animal abuse is happening?
There is no precise legal definition of animal abuse.
That said, it does not go unnoticed by French law. A number of references in different legal documents make it possible to build up a picture of it in legal terms.
Abuse, and the condemnation of abuse, concerns all animals. That is to say, pets, domestic animals, farm animals, wild animals and tame animals.
The French Rural and Maritime Fishing Code specify that animals are beings endowed with feelings and must be kept by their owners under conditions compatible with the biological requirements of their species (article L214-1 ). [...]What should I do if I notice animal abuse occurring?
Before taking any action, it is important to gather as much information and evidence as possible.
The more precise your information is, the better the chances of saving the animal and stopping the abuse, and in some cases of prosecuting and convicting the offender. [...]Who to contact in cases of animal abuse
Several options are available if you witness animal abuse.
- The perpetrator: Before responding in any way, it is important to talk directly the perpetrator of the abuse and ask them to stop it.
- The owner or guardian of the animal: You can also alert the guardian or owner, they are not the author of the abuse, so that they are aware of their dog's or cat's suffering and can act on that knowledge. 
- The police and the national gendarmerie [...]- An animal welfare organisation: regardless of whether or not you are the owner of the animal in question, you can report the abuse to an animal protection organisation. [...] Ask the organisation you contact to provide you with more information on how to report cases of abuse.
- The DDPP: The Direction Départementale de la Protection des Populations (DDPP) has the authority to put a stop to animal abuse.
If you see an animal left in poor conditions (serious risk of injury, prolonged lack of drinking water...), or in a state of suffering (untreated wounds, extreme thinness...), you can inform the DDPP of the département where the animal is located, by mail or email, and they will investigate the case.
You will find the list of DDPPs and their contact details here.
What penalty is incurred by perpetrators of animal abuse?
The law is clear on this subject: it is forbidden to abuse domestic animals as well as wild animals that have been tamed or are held in captivity.

From the Figaro website