Two years after the shock video of the L214 association, the Grimal sheep farm in Rullac-Saint-Cirq as well as two veterinarians are on trial this afternoon before the Rodez court.
July 2020. The L214 association pinpoints the Rodez slaughterhouse in a shocking video. In it, one of the largest sheep farms in the department is also targeted. This is the SARL Grimal, located at a place called Parizot in the town of Rullac-Saint-Cirq. In the images, we see lame lambs or even having difficulty breathing. Some are lying on the ground, next to others. “The SARL Grimal fattens 120,000 lambs a year, i.e. 10% of the sheep born on the territory of the Roquefort protected designation of origin. The images show thousands of them crammed into buildings without ever having access to the outside. Many lambs are sick, some dying for hours without receiving treatment. Rendering bins are full of dead animals.”specifies the association in a press release accompanying the video.
Ill-treatment, deception on the goods…
Two years later, the operators – the father and his son – are expected in court. Following the broadcast of the video, the Rodez prosecutor’s office opened an investigation. It was particularly thorough and there are now numerous lawsuits: mistreatment of an animal, non-compliant administration of a veterinary medicine, non-compliant breeding register or deception on the goods. “Me, a healthy animal, that’s all I want”defended Johan Grimal in our columns in 2020. The farmer had even decided to open the doors of his farm in front of journalists. “Over time, we went from four to two lambs per m2 […] It’s 18 to 20 degrees inside, they have healthy food, always clean water, do you think they’re not well?”he had declared again, grateful to be “very angry” against L214 activists.
Veterinarians also sued
Still, justice did not focus its investigation exclusively on exploitation. The National Brigade for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Investigations (BNEVP) was also seized. The latter carried out searches on the operator’s site, but also on the premises of veterinarians in the region, who are regularly called upon to work with SARL Grimal. Two have been taken into custody and will appear today. They will have to answer for forgery, use of forgery, delivery of a drug without a prescription, prescription of a drug to an animal to which she does not personally give care…
“Excessive” use of antibiotics?
The investigation was indeed devoted at length to “excessive” orders for Draxxin (injectable antibiotic) and medicated feed (antibiotics). Considerable quantities of the first antibiotic could be traced: for 2019, 279 250 ml bottles of Draxxin for a total amount of €100,746.29, for 2020, 139 250 ml bottles of Draxxin for a total amount of 81,431, €60… In April 2021, a lamb from the Grimal farm showed a residue level of the antibiotic sulfadimethoxine exceeding the maximum authorized residue limit (MRL). This excess was detected during a check at the SVA slaughterhouse in Vitré. The Agro Mousquetaires group (Intermarché), which markets most of this production, has filed a civil suit for this trial, alongside the L214 association.
“Our investigations make it possible to uncover these practices, bring to light violations and trigger legal inquiries which show how the intensive farming system is appalling for animals, but also dangerous for human beings: the anarchic use antibiotics is a threat to public health. We welcome the investigative work of the public prosecutor’s office and expect firm and dissuasive sanctions from this trial: farms are not lawless areas”, said Brigitte Gothière, co-founder of the association, before the trial. It should open at 2 p.m.