Friday 11 February 2022 | 20

One Voice is in court to fight against the violence suffered by dogs in kennel clubs and to defend their freedom of expression

Mis à jour le 08 June 2022

After a three-year enquiry into various kennel clubs, in 2017 we published images of violent dog and puppy training. Some dog trainers, feeling concerned or even targeted, and claiming shame was being cast over the whole profession, have sued the association in an attempt to limit their freedom of expression. Despite the resolution proving us right, it is clear that they are looking for something else that ‘clears their names’, which no one has blackened. The appeal hearing took place at 2pm on Monday 14 February 2022 at Grenoble Court of Law.

Hr blog

Edit from 15 February - 3:20pm
The ruling is to be deliberated on 15 March.

In 2017, we reported on the violent training practices at the heart of these kennel clubs, aided by images from the investigation by our colleagues who have been infiltrating this domain since 2014. The dogs were strangled with their leads to make them obey, violently shaken... sometimes even hit. For the dogs trained to bite, using ‘defence’ training, it was even worse: they received electric shocks, were decked out in prong collars, and had to endure being whipped... an unbearable suffering.

Following this publication, many dog ‘trainers’ filed a complaint against us, claiming that we had cast shame on the whole of the profession, even though all we did was show the existing practices and methods considered abusive by canine experts (veterinarians, breeders, and trainers), without revealing the names of those responsible.

Fighting against practices and advocating for non-violence towards animals

In fact, our goal is not to fight against people but against practices. These few training professionals feel personally targeted... and they do not represent the entirety of the profession, seeing as many others among them have supported us in this approach, which aims to clean up the methods used in dog training, steering clear of violence. Perhaps it will take a decision under appeal for them to call into question what they do or do not consider to be abuse.

Once again, another case is very enlightening of our opponents methods

A canine behaviourist advocating for communication rather than submission was prosecuted for defamation by the trainer, having recruited other complainants involved in our case, because she spoke about abuse involving him. However, the court in Agen did acquit her on 26 January 2022.
In the context of this case file, a veterinarian specialising in behavioural medicine and a court expert has incidentally submitted a report analysing the video of an event organised by this same trainer, where the dog, who is muzzled and on a lead, finds itself hanging by its neck for a moment in a demonstration of power and being manhandled on stage until it submits. Right from the first few lines, he ponders his “objective, if not that of a public exhibition, intended to abuse the gullibility of the audience”. He then lists the issues and arguments for each: cruelty, ignorance of canine behaviour; and he ends with no uncertainty:

« In conclusion, here we are witnessing an exercise where violence, a lack of understanding of canine behaviour, and a lack of respect for the animal as a sentient being must be considered as mistreatment, given the acts of cruelty and taking into account the perverse aspects of the demonstration, inflicted publicly upon a pet. I find it hard to believe that a demonstration of this kind can still take place in France nowadays. »

The first time, in 2020, justice was on our side against the attacks from these dog trainers, validating our approach and dismissing our opponents’ requests (ruling on 14 January 2020 at the high court in Valence). We have always highlighted non-violent practices, as recommended by the association’s statute. Eighteen of the trainers appealed this decision and put forward a claim for 91,800 Euros in damages from the association. The hearing will take place at the Grenoble Court of Appeals at 2pm on 14 February 2022.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

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Comments 20

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

GEGE | Sunday 13 February 2022


Stéphane | Sunday 13 February 2022

Merci One Voice pour votre travail et cette enquête édifiante.
Cette violence envers ces chiens doit cesser !!

Raphaël Pin (ECC) | Sunday 13 February 2022

373, nous sommes 373 professionnels du chiens a avoir soutenu officiellement One Voice dans ce combat contre la maltraitance, et nous vous soutenons encore.

Merci pour votre action.

Paty | Sunday 13 February 2022

A quand la loi du Talion ?
Avant sanctions