Slaughtered ibexes: unnecessary carnage

3 out of 61 slaughtered ibexes were seropositive for brucellosis.

December 20, 2022 at 3:05 p.m.
Updated on December 20, 2022 at 5:11 p.m.

Reading time: 2 minutes


A lot of blood for not much ? Only 3 of the 61 ibexes of the Bargy massif slaughtered by state services last October tested positive for brucellosis, it has been learned Reporterre from consistent sources. A figure confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, which specifies that « confirmatory analyzes » bacteriological and serological are still in progress. For now, according to our sources, fifty corpses have already been tested.

© Anna Sardin / Reporterre

The killing of these wild animals had been ordered by the prefect of Haute-Savoie for health reasons. The Alpine ibexes — a protected species — are indeed suspected of having transmitted brucellosis to a bovine in November 2021. This bacterial disease, which can be transmitted to humans through the consumption of raw dairy products, terrifies breeders and producers of Reblochon. In the event of contamination of a cow, the entire herd must indeed be taken to the slaughterhouse. Arguing for a moral impact « considerable »the sector had sum the state of « take his responsibilities »even if it means massively slaughtering the ibexes of the massif.

This strategy has been strongly criticized from the start by environmental associations and scientists. In his avis November 2021, the National Food Safety Agency (Anses) considered that a massive and undifferentiated slaughter, as decided by the prefect Alain Espinasse, had little chance of succeeding in eradicating the disease. Finding shared by the National Council for the Protection of Nature (CNPN) — the advisory body of the Ministry of Ecological Transition —, which recommended rather to capture suspect ibexes with anesthetic darts, test them and euthanize only proven carriers of the disease.

« The State overrode and directly acted on the slaughterlightning a member du CNPNon condition of anonymity. As often, we were not listened to. » The percentage of ibexes actually infected among those that fell under the bullets is « very weak »he laments. « That’s a shame. » In a Tribune published in April, geographer Farid Benhammou and documentary filmmaker Mélina Zauber recalled that the preservation of the Alpine ibex is only up to « a wire ». In March, there were only 370 individuals in the Bargy massif. Minus 61 now.

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