France Passes Bill Mandating Cameras for Every Single Slaughterhouse

France has 1,000 or so slaughterhouses. By 2018, each one of them will be equipped with closed circuit television cameras (CCTV). They will record everything that happens in all areas where animals are “delivered, kept, immobilized, stunned, and slaughtered.”

The French will now be able to see whether slaughterhouse workers are abusing animals anywhere along the way from farm to actual slaughter. This is historic. Only Israel has done something similar. It’s a hugely important decision by the French National Assembly.

Animal rights organization L214 is largely responsible for this breakthrough. Its dedicated members managed to capture a great deal of damning video footage of rampant animal cruelty inside French abattoirs. They saw and recorded heartbreaking incidents, such as slaughterhouse workers “bashing sheep over the head, throwing a lamb at a wall, and decapitating a cow that was struggling,” according to The Local.

To see the sorts of horrors L214 made public, watch the video below. Be warned — it’s deeply disturbing:

Outraged by what they saw, the people of France demanded something be done. Their anger was unprecedented. So is the proposed government response.

France’s Senate must still vote on the measure to make it official. Before that happens, by July 2017, CCTV will get a “test run” of sorts in 263 French slaughterhouses nationwide. The French government wants an “initial opportunity to evaluate the current conditions” before drafting the final version of the bill.

The CCTV mandate comes in the wake of a 225-page report to France’s National Assembly, commissioned in March 2016. The report recommends 65 measures that would improve “transparency and the inadequate controls” at French slaughterhouses. L214′s video evidence sparked the Assembly’s request for this report.

As you can imagine, the French agricultural industry is not happy with what’s coming. We know this because ag workers have been busy blocking traffic with their trucks, burning tires, dumping huge piles of manure in front of French ministries and dangling pig carcasses from highway overpasses. It’s not the best way to win hearts and minds, but there you have it.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Animal protectors will need to be prepared to argue strongly and well that the Senate needs to agree to mandate CCTV in all slaughterhouses, because the agricultural industry will fight hard against this law. There’s no downside to a CCTV requirement — unless the industry is so deeply cruel every day and in every way. Perhaps it won’t be able to function once the public sees what’s going on. Any guesses on how true that scenario will turn out to be?

There’s one potential problem with the law as proposed. As of now, apparently only government veterinarians and slaughterhouse management types will see the raw footage. What animal protection groups want very badly is for all such footage to be freely available to the public. Only then can the French government and its people truly hold slaughterhouses accountable for their employees’ misdeeds.

Lawmakers of France, do the right thing. Your people demand it. The animals need your help. Perhaps one day we’ll all see the light and stop eating our fellow animal friends. Until then, we must do everything possible to minimize their pain, their fear and their suffering.

Is the rest of the world paying attention?  Israel did it first, now France is getting on board. Other countries, it’s time for CCTV in all slaughterhouses.

Shame on the slaughter industry for even arguing that oversight of animal treatment is inappropriate. It’s what you do on the kill floor that’s inappropriate. Your industry on its way toward the dust bins of history. Be ready, because all this killing will stop one day. It can’t come soon enough.

Take Action!

Ask the U.S. to follow suit and place video cameras in slaughterhouses and factory farms. Sign and share the petition with more than 150,000 signatures.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Mark Donner
Mark Dabout a year ago

The human race is evil

Melania Padilla
Melania P1 years ago

Awesome; these animals need more protection but above all consumers are at fault of this ;(

james S
james S1 years ago

Too bad this can't happen in America, especially when the dairy industry is asking for transparency in regard to plant based milks. Let's get that transparency - cameras in all farms, slaughterhouses and hatcheries. Instead, if you obtain footage from a farm or slaughterhouse, you're likely labeled a terrorist - for revealing the senseless terrorism of animals.

Samuel B
Samuel B1 years ago

It's truly sad, when the US likes to think of itself as the leader of the world, that other nations are the ones who show that they are leading the world in so many areas. The French government has once again shown that they are better people than the US Congress.

Justyna L
Justyna L1 years ago


Laura Harvey
Laura Harvey1 years ago

Well done France! I hope everyone else in the World should follow suit!

Ann B
Ann B1 years ago

well done-- NOW we need all others to follow!!!!!

Marija M
Marija M1 years ago

tks for sharing

Ruth G
Ruth G1 years ago

Well done France for instigating this long as it is monitored & strong action is taken when cruelty is observed! now lets do it worldwide but preferably go vegetarian & we wont need them!!!!