Abuse and cruelty on foxes in the Hautes-Pyrénées: a father and his son sentenced by the Tarbes court

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The vice-prosecutor of the Hautes-Pyrénées, Bénédicte Gilbert, returns to a case of acts of abuse and cruelty perpetrated on foxes by a father and his son in the Hautes-Pyrénées, for which they were condemned by the criminal court of Tarbes. The magistrate recalls that animal abuse is vigorously fought today and sets out the penalties incurred by the perpetrators.

A case of incredible cruelty, taken as an example. The vice-prosecutor of the Hautes-Pyrénées, Bénédicte Gilbert, wishes to remind the population that animal abuse is a crime firmly fought and punished. And to return to the case of a father and his son from the Lannemezan sector, condemned by the criminal court of Tarbes for having filmed themselves capturing live adult and baby foxes, before throwing them into the their hunting dogs.

“On these videos, we see adult foxes captured with digging pliers and then delivered for long minutes to the bites of dogs that lacerate them, until death ensues”, describes the magistrate. “Other images show fox cubs that had previously been illegally captured and then brought home, cornered at the bottom of a cage, being eaten alive by dogs at the encouragement of their owners. Another time, a fox after having suffered under the fangs of dogs, is finished off with a shovel.”

Bénédicte Gilbert ends the unbearable story with the fate reserved for a badger, held by the tail and killed by the father with several stab wounds. Videos that the father and son then posted in a private group on Facebook, before being denounced by a user.

A prohibited and repressed practice

“The convicts, while acknowledging the facts and their reprehensible character, did not seem to realize their seriousness and the suffering they may have caused. They believe that it is a normal way of learning to veneration underground for their dogs, and that this is a common practice. Therefore, it seems useful to recall that this type of prohibited practice is both firmly repressed by French legislation and systematically pursued by the Tarbes prosecutor’s office before the criminal court”, warns the magistrate.

Because since the entry into force of the law of November 30, 2021 aimed at combating animal abuse and strengthening the link between animals and humans, the sanctions against the perpetrators of serious animal abuse have been reinforced. If the facts involve the death of the animal, the offense can be punished up to five years of imprisonment against two years previously.

Father and son paid for it. Tried at the beginning of 2022, they were found guilty of the crime of animal abuse and other related crimes: the unauthorized capture, transport and possession of non-domestic animal species. They were sentenced to a four-month suspended prison sentence, a fine of 1,200 euros, the withdrawal of their hunting license with a three-year ban on returning it, and two 5th class fines related to the capture, transport and the possession of game species. In addition, the two men had the obligation to compensate three environmental protection associations.

Bénédicte Gilbert also requested the official publication of excerpts from the sentence, so that the sanctions taken against the perpetrators of this abuse are brought to the attention of as many people as possible.

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