Paris, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- French authorities have opened an investigation into a foie gras duck farm in the country’s southwest after video footage published by an animal rights platform showed the livestock living in extreme inhumane conditions.
The organization L214 uploaded the video shot inside the battery cage near the town of Lichos, in the French Basque region, on Thursday.
The footage showed the animals living in cramped cages that were in a state of disrepair alongside dead ducks that had been left to decompose.
The floor of the enclosure was covered in a slurry of maggot-infested excrement, some of which had been dumped outside the building, posing a pollution risk to a nearby nature reserve.
The conditions inside the pen had also attracted rats, which were free to move around among the livestock.
“The situation at the farm is catastrophic,” L214 said in a statement. “The living conditions for the animals are frightening, the health risks are substantial, the environmental damage is alarming and the working conditions for the employees simply horrible.”
France’s agriculture minister Julien Denormandie responded with a statement saying he had ordered local authorities in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques prefecture to launch an investigation.
A team of inspectors traveled to the farm on Wednesday and confirmed the conditions did not comply with regulations.
A veterinary investigation was scheduled for Thursday in an effort to provide a more detailed report on the situation and draw up the necessary health and safety measures to be implemented.
The minister said the inspection could lead to the closure of the farm, adding that preliminary legal action that could strip the owners of the right to keep livestock had been set in motion.
Denormandie said the isolated case should not serve to discredit the foie gras industry as a whole. EFE-EPA