Dead pigs by the roadside

I live near a pig farm. Frequently, they leave dead animals outside the farm by the roadside. There have been 2 sows and a piglet there (barely covered) for four days now. Aside from the moral issue of treating animals like garbage, is this legal? And who can I complain to?
In Britain the farmer would be in trouble, but how does it work here?

Hi Geof

this happens frequently, you say
 have you ever spoken to the farmer about this? If so
 what response did you get ? I would have thought that dead animals attract all sorts of vermin etc etc

I know that a dead sheep will be left where it can be easily collected by the official van that the farmers ask to deal with things
 but never known an animal to be left for more than a day

Surely, worth speaking with the farmer
 and if you prefer not to do that
 why not have a quiet word at your Mairie to find out just how things stand.

The farmer is a neighbour -so it might be a bit tricky. I think I’ll try the Mairie. There are other complaints too so I might have to get other neighbours involved.

I’ve sent you a private message
:grin: by the way
 is the neighbour a friend of the Maire ??? :wink: generally speaking things are best sorted out between individuals
 ie you and the neighbour
 but having a gentle word with the Maire in advance cannot hurt

The system for collecting dead animals in France is not ideal. It is very unusual for them to be picked up the same day and 48 hours is pretty standard. When I had my horse pts, despite planning it meticulously with the vet so that we went for the best possible chance of swift collection, I still ended up with a dead horse on the drive for 3 days. Not nice at all and I was just thankful it was in January and not high summer.

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Good grief Cat
 seems we are luckier around here
 I’ve known the van collect quite late at night
 but at least it came.

If we had a fatality at polo, the kennelmaster from the Beagles at then Royal Ag came and the horse was taken away straight away. He was also licensed to carry out humane dispatch.
Rather different here it seems.
I can’t imagine the distress it caused you to see your beloved horse left liked that for three days.

It was awful . And funny in a very macabre kind of way because I had booked it for a day when we thought she would get picked up and Max would be at school until 6.30, as I thought he’d be upset. In the event, he came home early and didn’t even notice the extremely large and extremely dead horse on the drive. Teenagers!

Strange, it toook our daughters a couplle of days to realise that our labrador had not come back from the vet with me!


So when an animal dies the farmers have to leave it uncovered to be collected by the relevant persons.

They can take forever to arrive.

Speak to the marie not about your neighbour but about the lack of the official collection process.

Unfortunately while in britain its done one way here there is an official service to collect them and they are for what of a better words. Somewhat lacking.

What the farmer is doing is actual the correct procedure.

Hope you get manage to have them collected.

This is what happened to me! had horse pts on the saturday (unavoidable). I couldn’t ring the knackers until mon morning, then as the law stands, they get 2 clear days to collect. They came on weds afternoon!
The horse was on the lane-had to be accessible to the lorry so couldn’t leave her in the field, covered with a tarpaulin all the time, and our (french) neighbour complained! He had a right go at me (ex gendarme & ex maire!) not well liked round here by anyone), known for pushing his weight about. I was well within the law, and so I gave him short shrift when he came knocking. He was not at all empathetic to me in my grief

The previous week hubby had also broken his arm & been operated on, and the week before that he’d been made redundant-not a good time for the neighbour to come calling!
We haven’t spoken since.
So be careful when confronting the farmer, that’s all I’ll say!

Rachel, this ex gendarme, ex mayor not liked is exactly the same in our commune.

could be the same person lol

We have a farmer as our neighbour and he has both cattle and horses. They are not well looked after and many die, some in childbirth. He scoops up the dead animals with his tractor and just dumps them just inside his farm entrance (he doesn’t actually live on the farm as he is a Doctor by day and lives 40 minutes away from the farm). Anyway, these dead animals are left for days and his poor bedraggled dog (who is also left on the farm without shelter) will start to eat them! It’s shocking and, as we run a chambres d’hotes, not a very nice discovery for our guests who must pass his farm entrance to reach our place. We have spoken with him but he just carries on regardless. I took photos of the filthy farm with the dead carcasses partly eaten to our Mairie. The Mairie told us to try to sort it out between us. Our farmer is well known in our commune as a ‘problem’ if not a complete ‘nightmare’ but it would seem no one is prepared to act. Whether he has friends in high places I am not sure but he gets away with such disgusting practices and unethical farming. He would be prosecuted in the UK but he seems untouchable here.


Sounds awful. Have you been back to speak with your Maire, to report back on what passed between you and the neighbour ?

Hi Stella, yes we have been back and he diverted us to the Gendarme Municipal who again told us to try to sort it out between us. We have always been very polite with our neighbour as we are very conscious of the fact we are English and not locals. We never wish to be a nuisance or cause any trouble, however, the French family we bought our property from (and with whom we are very good friends) had complained about him constantly when their elderly aunt lived here. They didn’t get anywhere either. In our first year of business here, his herd of cows trashed our swimming pool because he hadn’t provided them with accessible water. They ended up in our garden trying to get water from our pool. You couldn’t make it up! Thankfully, his insurance paid out. I could actually write a book about this man and I am sure no one would believe it 
 he is a law unto himself. He never manages anything properly, concocts ridiculous set ups to look after the animals as he just will not pay to do anything properly. Consequently, his cows are always escaping into the road and becoming a hazard for drivers, his watering systems (large hose pipes dangling from trees AND suspended across roads) constantly failing yet he is never made to answer. No one ever seems to come and inspect his farm (it is filthy) and we just feel helpless as to trying to make him act more responsibly and, at least, show some consideration for his neighbours. When you speak to him he is always very polite and promises to rectify issues but then nothing happens. As I say, he is so well known in our commune for his bad farming practices yet nothing is ever done to stop it. Being a doctor I would have expected a more responsible attitude from him and I wonder why he actually has a farm as he cares so little for the animals he has on it nor does he care for the huge amount of land he owns. I am truly shocked that no one seems to monitor his farming habits etc., especially as his cattle are reared for beef!

Hi Elaine

If you have tried and been unsuccessful with your neighbour
 then the only step forward is to make a formal complaint to the Gendarmes.

It is no easy thing to do
 in that you have to be courageous enough to “stand up and be counted”
 most folk will not be prepared to take that step and I would not criticize anyone who prefers a “quiet life”.

It would be useful for you to know if he is actually breaking any laws or not
 or whether he is just been a bad neighbour.

Perhaps another informal chat with the Gendarmes
 might be helpful.

It’s a horrible and distressing situation to be in, I don’t know whether this link would be helpful in who to contact

Le maire a également compétence pour faire respecter le RÚglement sanitaire départemental, comme le confirme la réponse à la question écrite ci-dessous.

Question Ă©crite posĂ©e par Monsieur le dĂ©putĂ© Denis Jacquat, le 17 mars 2003, au Ministre de l‘IntĂ©rieur :

Question :

M. Denis Jacquat demande Ă  M. le ministre de l’intĂ©rieur, de la sĂ©curitĂ© intĂ©rieure et des libertĂ©s locales de bien vouloir lui indiquer dans quelle mesure le maire se doit d’intervenir en cas d’infractions Ă  des dispositions du rĂšglement sanitaire dĂ©partemental sur le territoire de sa commune. Il lui demande particuliĂšrement s’il est opportun que le maire utilise ses pouvoirs d’officier de police judiciaire afin de dresser lui-mĂȘme procĂšs-verbal pour constater certaines de ces infractions. En effet, dans les petites communes rurales, le maire est frĂ©quemment sollicitĂ© par ses administrĂ©s pour rĂ©soudre certaines nuisances (dĂ©pĂŽt de fumier irrĂ©gulier, nuisances dues Ă  la prĂ©sence d’animaux dans les habitations
) qui ne relĂšvent pas uniquement du litige de voisinage, mais se trouvent susceptibles de constituer des infractions au rĂšglement sanitaire dĂ©partemental. A dĂ©faut de cette solution amiable, une action rĂ©pressive peut parfois se justifier. Or les services de l’État (DDASS, gendarmerie) ne sont pas toujours enclins Ă  agir. En cas de persistance du problĂšme, le maire, par ailleurs garant de la salubritĂ© publique sur le territoire de sa commune, craint souvent de voir sa responsabilitĂ© mise en cause si, au final, il n’agit pas. Il le remercie de bien vouloir l’informer Ă  ce sujet.

RĂ©ponse :

Il appartient au maire de faire respecter dans sa commune les dispositions du rĂšglement sanitaire dĂ©partemental, Ă©tabli par le prĂ©fet, aux termes des articles L. 1311-1 et L. 1311-2 du code de la santĂ© publique. à€ cet effet, le maire prĂ©cise par arrĂȘtĂ© les conditions d’exĂ©cution de ce rĂšglement, sans qu’il soit nĂ©cessaire dans ce cas de consulter la direction dĂ©partementale de l’action sanitaire et sociale (Conseil d’État, commune d’Azille, 27 juillet 1990). Le maire peut Ă©galement prescrire des dispositions plus sĂ©vĂšres (Conseil d’État, dame veuve Millou, 28 avril 1950). Par ailleurs, la haute juridiction a prĂ©cisĂ©, dans sa dĂ©cision d’Hausen du 18 mars 1996, qu’il revenait au maire et non au prĂ©fet, sauf urgence, d’adresser en tant que de besoin des injonctions aux particuliers ne se conformant pas aux dispositions de ce rĂšglement. Enfin, l’inaction du maire dans ce domaine est susceptible de caractĂ©riser une faute lourde de nature Ă  engager la responsabilitĂ© de la commune (Conseil d’État, commune de LĂšge-Cap-Ferret, 25 septembre 1987). L’article L. 1312-1 du code de la santĂ© publique dispose que les infractions aux prescriptions dans ces domaines de la protection de la santĂ© et de l’environnement sont constatĂ©es par procĂšs-verbaux dressĂ©s par des officiers et agents de police judiciaire, conformĂ©ment aux dispositions du code de procĂ©dure pĂ©nale. Le maire peut donc agir lui-mĂȘme en sa qualitĂ© d’officier de police judiciaire, qui lui est confĂ©rĂ©e par l’article 16 du code de procĂ©dure pĂ©nale. Il est alors placĂ© sous la direction du procureur de la RĂ©publique, aux termes des articles 12 et 19 du mĂȘme code.

Thank you so much for your response and the link. I shall take a look at that. We have lived here 10 years now and bobbed along with our ‘annoying neighbour’ and I must admit I always wanted to know what our rights were. Do we have grounds/rights for complaint? However, again, it is as clear as mud and no one in authority seems able or willing to help so I have almost given up to be honest and just accepted this is France, this is how it is here! No one has a good word to say about our neighbour and, as mentioned previously, our French friends complained to every official body they could think of but got absolutely nowhere. This man seems to be a law unto himself, even untouchable and they believe he really does have friends in high places. Thank you again for your kind response.