The French animal rights organization L214 has released footage recorded in April and May 2023 of  Bazas slaughterhouse in Gironde, France, revealing the horrifying conditions the animals, mostly from organic meat farms, were treated. The organisation claims that severe breaches of regulations resulting in excessive suffering for animals such as cows, bulls, lambs, and piglets, had taken place. These included ineffective stunning methods, bleeding while still conscious, and the use of electric prods on sensitive parts of the animals’ bodies. The footage also shows three calves who entered the wrong box apparently stabbed in the eye with an electric prod. 

Also, the investigators state that footage of slaughterhouse employees frequently misfiring their stunning guns and shooting the skulls of the animals multiple times is another example of wrongdoing as only one shot should be required. The video also shows sheeps freeing themselves and trying to flee, and some being grabbed by the tail or the ears and slammed back into boxes.

In 2016, a veterinary inspection of the same facility pointed out ongoing malpractices, suggesting these issues have continued for over seven years. A semi-public company runs the Bazas slaughterhouse, which primarily processes animals from local and free-range farms. L214 has demanded immediate closure of the facility and proposed parliamentarian visits to slaughterhouses. 

Sébastien Arsac, L214 co-founder, said, “The Bazas slaughterhouse is supposed to be a model of the best: short circuits, local, organic, labelled meat. However, the extreme suffering of the animals is undeniable, and the state veterinary services are totally inoperative.” The Gironde prefecture denied the accusations, but L214 urged them to study their video footage.

L214 (also known as L214 éthique & animaux) was founded in 2008 by the action group “Stop Gavage” (stop force-feeding) for the abolition of foie gras, which now continues its actions within L214. The organization is devoted to the welfare of animals used for human consumption.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.