Sunday, 16 November 2008

Help support a goat farmer in France

I received this email yesterday from a friend in my village here in France about a goat farmer who is farming in the area of France where we live and who is having the most terrible time.

I've done a translation and posted it below in English.

What this man needs is our help and there is an Association (with a blog set up to help him.

If you are not in France and want to make a donation, you can send me an email at info AT

I am going to find out how people can make a donation from abroad and when I do, I will post here at Farm Blogs From Around the World.

From: A.
Date: 15 November 2008 11:44
To: Ian Walthew
Subject: Support for Jean Hugues the goat farmer.

Following numerous violent acts against Jean-Hugues Bourgeois since his setting up as a farmer in the commune of Teilhet in the Puy-de-Dôme, an Association to support him has been set up.

It has been set up by 20 inhabitants of the village (the others did not want to join it for "fear of acts of reprisal," according to the president of the Association, Christine Albert-Gauthier).

This Association is calling on everyone who has already supported Jean-Hugues or those that wish to join the movement, by becoming a member of the association.

Objective: act together to mobilize as citizens, something already begun by the bio associations in the region and the Confédération of Farmers of the Puy-de-Dôme, helping people, farmers or non farmers to join the movement.

Background to this story (which you can find on the blog of the Association Jean-Hugues le Chevrier,

Since Jean-Hugues Bourgeois accepted to take on about 50 hectares of land belonging to Georges Message, a farmer nearing his retirement, Jean-Hughes' daily life has become a nightmare

During the night of 31 March/ 1 April 2008, a dozen of his goats were killed. On the wall there was graffiti: " La Boge ( the name of the farm) for farmers! Get out of here!"

Thanks to the solidarity and support of friends, Jean-Hughes succeeded in starting again. But the harassment didn't stop.

What followed were rumours (that he grew cannabis) and spiteful acts: a dead rat in his glove compartment, destruction of his electric fences, reinforced concrete metal rods placed in his field to puncture the tires on his tractor....

In August 2008, these acts of intimidation continued :
- during the night of 8/9 August a building was burnt down: his hay stock went up in smoke and his tractor was badly damaged;
- 22 August, Jean-Hugues Bougeois found a letter, left in his tractor, threatening the rape of his daughter, threats against his partner and death threats against Mr. Message.

After a calmer September, October saw a number of unexplainable acts:
- The night of 3/4 October, his barn was burnt. His remaining supply of hay and his grain harvest was completely destroyed, along with the building. Jean-Hugues Bourgeois received death threats in the post.
- At the beginning of December, we found out that one of his ewes had been killed by poison and others had aborted.

You'll understand that Mr. Bourgeois is completely crushed. He has had the courage to stay but not the money. We're going to let the authorities take care of the enquiry and and bring to justice the authors of these innumerable acts, but we're doing all we can to help Jean-Hugues.

If you're touched or disgusted by what has happened to Jean Hughes you can help him by one of two ways:

- make a donation: write a cheque to the Association Jean-Hugues Le Chevrier and send it to Association Jean-Hugues Le Chevrier La Boge, 63560 TEILHET, France
- become a member of the Association: membership costs €5 (cheques made out to the same name, sent to the same address).

Our telephone number is, if you are calling from outside France, ++

This has been a comunique of the Association Jean Hugues le chevrier.

Please spread this message as widely as you can amongst your network.

A Place in the Auvergne
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Ian Walthew

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