Goat Welfare and goats cheese

Possibly not the correct category…

I was horrified to read this article… and have vowed never to mumble/complain again when the local goats escape from their fields and run amok in our village…

I have a lot of time for L214 - one of the few organisations in France that really care for animal welfare.

And had a similar revelation last week when we went to buy some sheep’s cheese from a farm. They asked if we’d like to see their milking parlour, and sounded very proud about it. So we said yes. Weren’t really expecting young women with long plaits and dirndl skirts sitting on wooden stools, but neither were we expecting Dante’s 7 circles of hell!

Hundreds of sheep corralled into sheds, and then up a ramp into an automatic milking station that rotated. Once the rot@tes round to the end a hatch opened and they could go down another ramp back into their shed. Artisan cheese is not quite what I thought!

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This is exactly why it’s so important to support small scale production.


“En élevage, la durée de vie d’une chèvre laitière est de 3 ans et demi, pour 2 lactations et demie.”

This is really shocking :rage::rage::rage::rage::rage: goats can live 15 to 18 years.

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We visited a goats cheese producer a number of years ago (perhaps in Haute Savoie). It was a small-scale production, perhaps 100 beasts, and they had to be milked in batches. We walked round, but once you’ve seen one goat’s bottom you’ve seen them all. The goats themselves were well-treated from what I saw.

What I do remember was being surprised the price of the cheese wasn’t excessive, considering such artisanal production.

In the UK, we buy organic food where animals are concerned - meat, cheese, milk - because of the higher welfare requirements. Is the same true for the French Bio scheme, do you know?

Here is some info when it comes to the treatment of pigs.

I had been under the impression that goats and sheep cheese was somehow less intensively produced than dairy from cows. Seems I was very wrong!

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Most of the bio schemes are about what the animals are fed, not how they are treated. Animal welfare is just not an issue that is on most consumers’ minds. Try to find free range pork in a supermarket: it may be there but it won’t be labelled as such as most people don’t care. Wheras a UK supermarket will be full of these labels.

I have never seen label rouge élevé en liberté pork, and even so from your link above that may only be for the last 10 weeks of their life. It’s not pigs raised in family groups that you see all over the UK.

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That link is very interesting, thank you @almondbiscuit
We don’t buy meat in larger supermarkets or indeed, usually, in any supermarkets, but were staggered to find recently that the farmer whose cattle are in the field adjoining our garden had sold his animals to the local village Intermarche. You couldn’t find animals better reared than these and the space they have is incredible. It never occurred to me that our supermarket would buy meat from local suppliers. They buy their pork locally too but I haven’t seen the farm yet so don’t know how the pigs are reared.


I think SuperU has quite good policies to encourage individual shops to source a small % of products locally. We have local lamb - it even identifies the farm so one can go see the sheep.


Yes indeed - we found the the U Express in the next village also did this. Intermarche was a surprise though but since their local outlets are (I think) a franchise, perhaps the individual supermarkets can choose their own suppliers?

I find our Intermarché meat very good. I often buy it from the Drive - without seeing it, and I have always been very pleased with it. In the store they have labels to show the source, usually farms in the vicinity or the next dept.

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Even though I’ve been here for years, I still seem to think that all supermarkets are like the grandes surfaces or indeed pretty well any supermarket in the UK.

One of the things I really like about both of our local ones is that you can talk to a real butcher in there and get the kind of cut you want. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that there is no problem getting pork with the skin of for doing real crackling. I’m not sure I’ve seen a real butcher in a UK supermarket ever :thinking:


Even at our big Leclerc one can ask the butchers where the meat comes from and they know. Like all European directives, the source directive means that all food must be clearly labeled. If you look at a prepacked meat, it should state at least the race, farm & abbatoire, sometimes the tag number of the beast. The numbers denoting farm, abbatoire etc are available online.
Just most people don’t know how the food systems in Europe really work and how to find out.
For a while we were members of the Scotch Beef Club, and the information and paperwork required to stay in this club was immense. Had to provide details of each kilo of meat - farm, eartag no, abbatoire date purchased etc… eventually crashed out as I did not want to buy meat from animals that had to be transported 200 miles to an approved abbatoire whilst the nearest and kindest was not on the approved list.