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Help Needed Tomorrow 2/9/2004


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Hi All,

Support and assistance required from all animal lovers within reach of Jumilhac Le Grand in the north Dordogne for tomorrow morning at 10am please.

The Bridgette Bardot Foundation has uncovered a terrible case of animal cruelty at a farm on the outskirts of Jumilhac. The farmer seems to have acquired donkeys for breeding purposes but now the animals are quickly starving to death in a barren field with no food and no water. The one exception being a small foal, which he has enclosed within an electric fence so that the other donkeys do not eat the meagre amount of hay he has given it.

The Foundation have taken legal action against the farmer but this will not be heard in court for another 2 weeks, this will be to late for the donkeys as two have already died. Therefore, the Foundation have arranged for TV cameras to be present tomorrow and need as many people to come along to give support

to the point they are trying to make, which is that the law against animal cruelty here is too cumbersome and too slow to save "at risk" animals lives. They also hope to shame the farmer into releasing the donkeys into proper care.

This venture has the full backing of the local gendarmerie and the Mairie. Several vets will also be present to administer aid to the donkeys if they should be released. A safe sanctuary is also ready for the immediate care of the animals until they are well enough to be adopted.

The other aim for tomorrow morning is for people to take food such as carrots, fruit and even hay so that, if not released, at least the donkeys can be fed, even though this may involve hurling apples over the electric fences!. We are taking along sturdy water troughs that can be passed under the fences but desperately need people to turn up with water in large canisters as most of us are reduced to collecting water in bottles at the moment and that simple won’t be enough. Unfortunately, we heard about this too late in the day to buy bigger water vessels.

If any Forum members could lend their support the BB Foundation would be eternally grateful.

Jumilhac Le Grand is just inside Dept24 (North) on the very edge of the borders of 87 ( near St Yrieux Le Perche) and 19 (Hauteforte). We are meeting at 10am tomorrow morning outside the Mairie in Jumilhac Le Grand.



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[quote]Hi All, Support and assistance required from all animal lovers within reach of Jumilhac Le Grand in the north Dordogne for tomorrow morning at 10am please. The Bridgette Bardot Foundation has uncove...[/quote]


All of us who care are with you, those who can't physically be there will be waiting to hear.

How about a baseball bat to the farmer's leg, accidentally of course. Or kidnap the bugger.

Julia in Brittany
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This dosn't surprise me in the least here. Some french people are very cruel to animals,even their own domestic ones. Unfortunately unless the public are made aware, the size and logistical problems in France for inspections to be carried out regularly are just impossible. I live hundreds of miles away or else I would have come to help feed the poor things,but will be with them in spirit. No living creature should have to suffer this intolerable cruelty and then left to die. Will the owner/farmer be arrested I wonder?
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What a horrible shame ! Can you contact the media for some coverage??? Maybe just the newspapers if the Television media shows no interest. Seems to me the kind of story that pulls at the heartstrings... Surely some of the French must have some heartstrings....

Please let us know what happens.
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Just to give you an update. We went along to the meeting place this morning, disappointing turnout as there were only about 16 - 18 people in total, but of these the vast majority were French which was a great morale booster.

Msr Le Maire, who had promised to attend, was hiding somewhere in his offices and suddenly became "unavailable" (Local politics? Cowardice?) but the gendarmes were very affable (although they insisted on taking down everyone's car plate details and on checking our windscreen CT & insurance stickers), and best still a cameraman and reporter from the French TV station FR3 came along to cover the protest.

We drove down to the farm in a convoy, there were 6 donkeys in total grazing in pastures which were mainly comprised of mud and weeds, a sorry looking rick stood nearby filled with damp rotten hay, and there was no sign of water troughs or any water source.

The donkeys had bloated stomachs and thin legs, presumably caused by a combination of malnutrition and worms, some looked far healthier than others, most had open sores on their hindquarters and legs. One of the foals was in a pitiful condition - stick thin with a dull, bruised looking coat. I would guess that this particular foal won't live for many more days unless a miracle happens.

We started feeding the donkeys from the stocks of apples, pears and carrots that we had all taken along but after about 10 minutes the farmer and his wife appeared (both very fat - they obviously don't stint on feeding themselves!). Despite the fact that the TV cameras were rolling the farmer lost his temper and started trying to attack us with spikes from his electric fence. Then he started throwing the scattered fruit & veg at us, all the time screaming that his donkeys were in good health and that we should mind our own business. Had the situation not been so sad this would have been the stuff of good French farce.

The French representative from the BB Foundation tried to talk to him about veterinary care, dietary needs and the death of the mother and foal from starvation some days ago, but he didn't want to listen and was content to say, "See you in court, the Prefecture is on MY side not yours".

The Foundation then offered to buy the donkeys on the spot - he refused to sell saying that he kept them for pleasure.

As you can imagine this heated debate continued for quite a long time, but it was obvious that we were not going to be able to rescue the donkeys today and that the legal process would have to take it's course in 2 weeks time.

Those of us nearby will continue to take food to the donkeys every day from now on, but we can't supply them with water as the farmer will simply throw our trough away but we hope that there is a water source somewhere on the land (maybe we just couldn't see it) after all the donkeys MUST have some access to water or they would be dead by now.

So, that's it really. Those of you in Aquitaine with French TV may see the event covered in the regional portion of the news this evening, I think on TV South West, but I wasn't really listening when they were talking about the broadcast (I was too busy throwing surreptitious apples to the donkeys while the farmer's back was turned!).

Thanks for all your messages of support.


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It is such a good thing you have done. Don't give up.

Is there no law here that allows for IMMEDIATE intervention when animals are, obviously, being abused, neglected and starved?? Does it really take weeks to get the process going? Can anyone go at night to feed/water the animals when Madame et Monsieur Farmer are not aware? I realize that would be asking alot of any volunteers. Wish I was nearby. I live in the Vaucluse or would otherwise be right there at midnight with the food/water.

Do keep us posted. Glad to hear the media showed up. They should publish the farmer's name and address (perhaps by mistake) to tell the world what an !(&$#!*$&# he is. Don't know how anyone could sit by and deny the obvious starvation of his own animals. There is a special place down below just waiting for him.

Okay, I've written my tyraid....
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