Monday 27 May 2019 | 14

Two bloodthirsty killers of sea turtles caught in Mayotte!

Two men caught in the act of killing sea turtles in Mayotte have been immediately put on trial on Monday May 27th 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Mamoudzou Criminal Court. The poachers - including a repeat offender employed by the department to protect these turtles - were filmed at night last week capturing, mutilating, butchering, then transporting two turtles. Between cruelty and the lack of means to defend these animals who are in great danger, One Voice directly questions the weakness of the law, and the lack of political will to act. We are a civil party in this case.

Hr blog

Editorial May 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm

The deliberation has just been announced: the defendants prison sentences, the repeat offending poacher who was employed by the Departmental Council of Mayotte to protect these turtles received 1 year, he now sleeps this evening in prison. The second had a sentence of 6 months suspended with community work. Their two canoes have been confiscated from them.

photo :  François-Elie Paute / Oulanga na Nyamba

The killing of the two sea turtles was filmed

The facts are serious. On the night of May 23rd to 24th on a Mayotte beach, two men are filmed surrounding two sea turtles, kicking them to make them move and then stunning them. They then butchered them with a knife while they are as it seems still alive, to then leave the shells on the beach and take the meat in their canoes. An endless and excruciating suffering for these two green turtles who had come to lay their eggs on the beach.

Who protects these endangered sea turtles?

In the world, all species of sea turtles are threatened, as also in the French territories and oceans which have as many responsibilities. However, in Mayotte, the poaching of green turtles reaches frightening proportions. About 400 of them are skinned each year on the beaches of the French islands of the Comoros archipelago. The Mahoran association Oulanga Na Nyamba, which works to protect sea turtles and their habitat, has no real means of acting. But how did we manage to leave these associations alone in the face of such a tragedy, these poor animals who disappeared in such terrible circumstances and suffering?

One of the poachers was paid by the state to watch after the turtles!

Laws, once published, must be enforced and it is up to the state to deploy the means necessary to enforce them. What have we learned here? One of the poachers, had donned the cap emblazoned with the slogan "save the turtles" and to top it all off, this was an employee of the departmental council, whose role was to watch over poachers. One who would then take advantage of this status and then to have poached for several months! A repeat offender, we found an interview dating from 2011, in which he was filmed with knife in hand on a beach with kilos of meat in his canoe. Confronted by activists already reminding him of the law, but failing to do any more. He was employed by the Departmental Council of Mayotte after a conviction ...

In a report broadcasted by TF1, a program called "Seven to eight" in November 2011, we can see the poacher / an employee of the departmental council interviewed on Papani beach during one of his nocturnal "outings".

The Ecological Defence Council, just an empty shell

Hydrocarbons and noise from boats, fishing, plastic, poaching, climate change, disappearance of their habitat and breeding grounds, etc.: sea turtles are threatened from all sides, which is why they are supposed to be protected. For decades, successive French governments have looked elsewhere. Today, Emmanuel Macron establishes an Ecological Defence Council. We hope it will not be just an empty shell and that the turtle's alarm call will be heard. We expect strong and effective actions, implemented quickly and for the long term.

Cruelty to free wild animals is never punished

How can you not be disgusted, revolted when you learn the terrible fate of these two poor turtles? Since the latter were free wild animals, whatever the cruelty to which they are the victims of, whatever the mutilations they have undergone, one can only file a complaint on their behalf for infringement of a protected species, not for unimaginable suffering they have endured. Beyond this status which, therefore, alone, protects them (and still, so little), it is implausible that these sensitive animals are not protected from acts of cruelty by the current texts! Animals are not just representatives of their species, which should just be protected as a matter of principle. Every individual should have the right not to be mistreated or violated!

Both poachers face jail time. Our lawyer also represents the association Oulanga Na Nyamba at the trial on Monday May 27th in Mayotte. We are waiting for concrete acts from the government in favour of animals, and a profound change in policy towards the living. Our parliamentarians must also take their share of the responsibility.

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

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Carnage in Red Frogs

Comments 14

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Stéphane | Thursday 06 June 2019

Quelle violence, à vomir !! Pauvres tortues...

Et comme disait Victor Hugo:
"L’enfer n’existe pas pour les animaux, ils y sont déjà…"

Isaline | Tuesday 04 June 2019

La violence éternelle !
Pauvres tortues :-(

Michelle | Friday 31 May 2019

Je suis outrée par autant de maltraitances !! Il n'y a aucune excuse pour des meurtres de tortues...aucune !

Karine et Philippe | Friday 31 May 2019

Tant que le statut juridique de l'animal ne changera pas et que la maltraitance, l'abandon, le crime ne figureront pas dans le Code pénal, les animaux seront en danger et en voie de disparition sociale. L'on s'attaque de plus en plus aux espèces protégées. Le comble de l'horreur c'est qu'un employé chargé de protéger ces tortues n'a pas trouvé mieux que de les exterminer, il faudrait peut-être vérifier par deux fois, qui l'on emploie ! La peine prononcée n'est vraiment pas lourde au regard du crime commis, mobilisons-nous pour changer les lois pour que la cause animale ait sa place dans notre société et que nos élus prennent conscience que nous ne voulons plus qu'ils soient les victimes de la folie des hommes.