In her meadow in Le Bugue, a small Périgord village, Plaisir des fleurs is doing well, Isabelle and Marine Mansais a little less so. Since April 2023, when their 20-year-old horse, retired from horse racing, was found to be a carrier of EIA (equine infectious anemia), his fate has been in the hands of the law.
The disease "is a persistent viral infection of equines, transmitted by insect bites. It can be fatal, and no treatment or vaccine is available to date, "recalled the prefecture of Dordogne in August 2023, to justify its decision, specific to France: the euthanasia of the contaminated animal, when our Italian neighbors advocate the isolation of the animal (if an insect bites a horse with the virus, he can pass it on to another horse by pricking him in turn).
The Council of State has ruled
Since then, despite two rejections of euthanasia orders, the administration remains determined. "She wanted to override the ban on entering Ms. Mansais' property by issuing a new order to cancel the two previous ones," said her lawyer, Arielle Moreau.
On 21 October, the administrative court of Bordeaux suspended the prefectural decree calling for the slaughter of the animal, but on 20 November, the Council of State contradicted the decision. As a result, Isabelle Mansais is obliged to organize euthanasia under penalty of sanctions.
On the plus side, his horse has advanced animal law. "For the first time in France, the judge recognizes that the emotional bond of an owner towards his animal deserves protection under the right to respect for private life," welcomes the lawyer, a specialist in equine law.
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For the owners, on the other hand, "the procedure must be restarted before the administrative court. Difficult," says the lawyer.
This regulatory intransigence annoys him when "there is no mandatory testing in our country. Proclaiming that France is free of IAE is a lie to preserve the economic interests of the sector because of the derisory compensation imposed by the State."