Why Thousands of Poultry Corpses Are Dumped in a State-owned Grave

It’s the animal welfare association. L214 which revealed the existence of the place, aerial images in support. A burial site for dead animals, more particularly birds, has been set up in the town of Petosse (Vendée) along the RD249 between Luçon and Fontenay-le-Comte, a stone’s throw from the A83 motorway. L214 photos and videos show many dead chickensdumped by a dump truck and spread by an excavator type machine. Other farmed birds appear covered in white powder.

The site, which belongs to the State, is used to contain part of the tons of poultry slaughtered as part of the risk of contamination from avian flu. It must be said that nearly 9 million chickens, ducks, turkeys or geese, spread over 552 homes, have been euthanized since the start of the avian crisis in the Vendée department alone. “The scale of the disaster is such that the State is overwhelmed by the volume of corpses and asks breeders to improvise pits or requisition burial sites, like this one”, denounces the association.

The corpses are deposited by trucks and then covered with lime. – L214

Carcasses and eggs covered in lime and dirt

In fact, the repetition of contamination and preventive slaughter measures is such that the rendering structures, called upon at the start, have been overwhelmed. Three technical landfill centers (household waste) were used in turn, but they were not enough either. The State has therefore decided to create a “pre-storage” site of around 5 hectares on a neglected plot of motorway, explains the Vendée prefecture. The carcasses and eggs are placed there, mixed with lime and then covered with earth.

“The device is very framed, assures one in the entourage of the prefect. The site meets all health and environmental requirements. It is a watertight pit with recovery of effluents. A cleaning area is provided for trucks. The poultry stored are intended to be then reprocessed in a “normal rendering process” when the activity is less sustained. And if the avian flu fades, the pit, planned to last a maximum of 24 months, will be repaired, specifies the prefecture.

“Lessons must be learned from this unprecedented crisis. The exit from the intensive farming model and the reduction in the number of farmed animals are crucial”, insists L214. On a French scale, more than 15 million poultry would have been killed in about six months due to avian flu.

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