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Animal Rights

French parliament votes against ending battery farming in animal rights bill

Tens of millions of duck and geese are force-fed each year to make the French speciality foie gras. Most are squeezed into cages so narrow they can barely move, which makes it difficult to breathe as their livers swell in size.
Tens of millions of duck and geese are force-fed each year to make the French speciality foie gras. Most are squeezed into cages so narrow they can barely move, which makes it difficult to breathe as their livers swell in size. © L214
2 min

French Parliament has rejected a provision of a new bill against animal cruelty that sought an end to battery farming and certain hunting practices. Earlier this week, the committee approved a ban on using wild animals in circuses and marine parks, as well as mink farming.

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During the four-hour debate, parliamentarians, including those from President Emmanuel Macron's ruling LaREM party, voted against the measure to improve the condition of animals bred in intensive farming by enforcing outdoor access by 2040.

The provision - the most ambitious and most expensive of the bill - was rejected on the grounds that it wold increase production costs and therefore the price paid by the consumer. 

Other measures removed from the bill included hunting with dogs and in underground in burrows of foxes and badgers.

The provisions were proposed by Cédric Villani of the EDS (Ecology, Democracy and Solidarity) party

Earlier in the week, parliament voted in favour of banning wild animals in circuses and marine parks within 5 years -- within two years for certain animals such as bears, elephants and lions.

It also approved an end to breeding American mink for fur production within five years, but not for certain rabbit species that are bred for fur making. 

Ahead of the debate, animal rights campaigners released images taken from a farm they said houses more than 40,000 rabbits in small cages in the western Brittany region.

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