The French Senate finally got round to discussing animal-friendly farming last week – six years after animals were legally recognised as sentient living beings.
Its economic affairs committee is considering a report on a proposed law for ethical and socially just farming.
According to those behind the bill, 80 per cent of the more than one billion animals slaughtered in France each year come from intensive livestock farms.
The report condemns these “factory farms,” which it says practice intolerable breeding and slaughter practices that lead to extreme behavioural disorders in animals and substandard meat quality.
Instead, it wants to promote a rural farming model that favours local food, respects nature, and “cares about animal welfare but also about its farmers”.
The bill, proposed by the Greens, wants to make it compulsory, as of 2025, for the setting up of outdoor access systems for farm animals. It also wants to introduce maximum density thresholds.
The new legislation, if passed, would limit the normal duration of animal transport in France to eight hours, though this could be extended to 12 hours with veterinarian approval.
In the poultry sector, it calls for an end to the culling of male chicks and female ducklings.
As part of the proposed law changes, the senators behind the bill want a fund created to compensate farmers as they move towards more ethical breeding systems that respect animal wel-fare.
The Senate had previously been accused of dragging its feet on the animal welfare bill after the French lower house, the National Assembly, adopted it at the end of January.
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