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escapedchickens

Sheep-keeping laws in France

Does anyone know if I need to be registered to keep a few sheep for personal consumption in France?
Do lambs which are never going to leave the property need to be tagged?
Any help on the regulations would be a great help...!
tahir

Re: Sheep-keeping laws in France

escapedchickens wrote:
Do lambs which are never going to leave the property need to be tagged?


To the letter of the law I'd imagine yes. No expert though, I'm sure someone that knows will be along shortly
Rob R

I understand the custom is to ignore any laws over there anyway Wink

But I did find this online: http://limousin.angloinfo.com/countries/france/sheep_goats.asp

Some more knowledgeable people will be able to offer better advice soon.
RichardW

Should have prity much the same law / rules as us but as has been said the french have a reputation for ignoring the ones they dont like. Best to ask localy what others do. especialy the slaughter house.

Justme
madmonk

Ask Irene (Hardworkinghippy) a fountain of knowledge about France.
hardworkinghippy

As Justme has said, the law's almost the same as in the UK.

Quote:
Does anyone know if I need to be registered to keep a few sheep for personal consumption in France?


You don't have to be registered, that is as a registered farmer paying social security contributions to the MSA, but your sheep and lambs must be registered and you'll be given a personal holding number.

Quote:
Do lambs which are never going to leave the property need to be tagged?


All farm animals must be tagged, even if they sleep on your sofa. Smile

Quote:
Any help on the regulations would be a great help...!


Go to your local Chambre d'Agriculture and confess that you've a few untagged sheep. (If you have more than six ewes you could be seen as rearing them for a profit and you'll be obliged to pay the MSA, so keep just six max otherwise your lamb chops will be very expensive!) They'll give you a lot of forms to fill in, a movements record, transport documents and some brochures which explain about tagging, how to order tags, how to fill in the forms etc.

At that point or later by letter, you may be asked to pay cotisations to COPELDOR (depending on your region) those are to contribute to the service of the animal health support which you'll get - an excellent service and well worth the money. A vet will visit you each year and take the time to talk about all your animals - even domestic ones and he or she will give you a prescription which you can use to get anything you think you'll need in the coming year from COPELDOR at a very low price compared to a commercial vet or a pharmacy.

You send all your forms filled in back to the C d'Ag, and hopefully your dossier will begin to do the rounds:

You might get a letter telling you off, but don't worry you won't go to prison. Smile

You'll be sent a tip tagger plus a larger tag machine and your first 10 yellow tags for your adult sheep and a load of tip-tags for your lambs, plus instructions on how to apply the tags.

In the summer you'll get a registered letter saying that a vet (not the COPELDOR one) will visit to take blood samples and you must be there to present your animals to him or her and sign that the samples have been taken. You can choose to have a cheap basic blood test or pay extra to have your sheep tested for other things which may be a problem in your region or anything else you suspect may be wrong. You'll get a bill.

You may get a controller who'll visit to make sure that everything is in order - make sure it is, but if it isn't you could be fined.

You can kill a few lambs at home for your own consumption but don't sell the meat. You can sell live lambs. Bear in mind that your neighbours pay very dearly to farm legally. If you're seen to be selling too much you could find that you lose their support. Neutral

If an animals dies then you must telephone "le carrossage" (You'll find the number in Les Pages Jaunes) to remove the corpse from your premises.

If you need any help with French, just ask.
Vanessa

Taking this a step in the other direction, how many do you have to keep to get subsidies?

We're still not registered ... decided to leave it a little while, as my back has been so bad, will think again either later this year or early next.
escapedchickens

Thanks very much.
That's pretty much what I expected it to be, and luckily I've already made an appointment at the Ch d'Ag so I will make sure they're giving me the right forms to fill in!
I guess that if I buy lambs at market they will already have tags?
RichardW

vanessa wrote:
Taking this a step in the other direction, how many do you have to keep to get subsidies?


I assume that france is now like the UK and its not a matter of how many you have but if you meet the min land area & are a farmer.

justme
Vanessa

I know we'd need to be registered as farmers. I thought the minimum land varied according to what you were keeping ... so for chickens it's a lot less than for sheep - which in turn is a lot less than cattle. Maybe I'm wrong there ... Embarassed
hardworkinghippy

Escapedchickens, If they're in public, they'll be tagged. Wink

Just me, that depends whether you're zero grazing or extensive. Obviously you only need a very small amount of land if you farm intensively.

You must have at least 10 breeding ewes to get grants, but don't get too excited - you'll only get about £11 a head in a "normal" region and a couple of quid more if you live in one of the "handicapped" (usually mountain) areas plus a bit more if they're on extensive pasture (Which means outside for more than x months in the year with a minimum surface of x per ewe ("x " depends on your region).

Organic or self-certified organic 6/7 month good quality lambs sell for about 130€ where we are. For the work of keeping and feeding about 25 sheep, shearing eleven, clipping feet a few times a year, tagging, dagging, vet bills, fencing and pasture management you'll earn about a thousand pounds, if you have no losses.

If you've 50 or so ewes, a good dog and a good back it's worth it as you're paying MSA, agricultural land tax and insurance anyway. That's easily manageable by two fit people, but the more animals you have, the more losses you have and urgent is urgent if there's a problem - and sheep get themselves into all sorts of trouble so you have to be around all the time.
Vanessa

Thanks for the full and honest reply, Irene, even if it wasn't really what I wanted to hear Sad "AND a strong back" rules me out Crying or Very sad It's getting harder to think of something to "do" with our land now that my back is so weak. I so wanted to "be a farmer". Crying or Very sad
boisdevie1

A think a big thankyou to HWH. How would we manage without her?
hardworkinghippy

Embarassed

It just so happens that I'm a farmer with the brain of a management consultant. At the Agricultural college where I worked I took on the role of helping young farmers set up in business and that's how I got involved in all this stuff.

Vanessa, you'd be wise to consider something in the agricultural line because after the CMU stops for the "rich British", you'll have to pay for private health cover which may be a lot more expensive than your MSA cotisations.

Just a thought... Wink
Vanessa

I know ... which is why I'm now wracking my brains trying to work out what to do instead ... Confused Irene, how about Ouessant sheep? I've heard they're much lighter than "normal" sheep ... mind you, that'd make the market-price per head less, too ... oooh, why can't life be simple?!! Rolling Eyes Wink
Vanessa

In light of proposed changes to Micro-bic ... can you farm under a micro-bic? Idea
hardworkinghippy

Ouessant sheep are like Angora goats in that they don't attract any grants. They're easy to handle, but there's not a lot of meat on them and they have four feet and have to be wormed and transported and marked like all farm animals. The market is already very active selling them as pets or pretty lawnmowers. (There's a lovely link on my blog to a blog about Ouessants.) There could be money in breeding good stock...maybe.

Do you mean a micro-bic (that's a tax régime) or do you mean a micro-entreprise ?

Farming doesn't come under either, but you can pay the lower cotisations de solidarity to the MSA if farming will be a secondary activity. They usually work out at under 600€ a year unless your rolling in dosh. Then your principal activity covers your pension and health insurance and you have the right to sell your produce. Even hay is worth selling as you've quite a bit of land and you'll always get customers for farm produce produced ethically.

The micro-bic is a way of calculating part of your revenue separately and you can choose to use this régime (if it benefits you) if you do B&B or rent gîtes. You get very generous allowances deducted on your income before you start paying tax.

The micro-entreprise might be something to consider - totally outside farming. The law is changing right now to a new appoach for self-employed cotisations. Before, the cotisations were set and you paid them for the first few years even although you earned nothing. (As is usual in France) Now ME cotisations will be based on a percentage of your turnover. Smile

You can also work using the cheque emploi service and you can teach English, teach people how to use computers, do caretaking, as well as all the other odd-job types of work.

I can't remember how old you both are Vannessa, but if you're still in your early 40s it would be worth registering as a ME. You'll possible pay less in cotisations, depending how much you earn and you'll then gain points towards your pension which will be with another Caisse d'assurance and not the MSA. The MSA pensions are €400 a month and you have to cotise for 40 years for that! (Obviously your pension would be pro rata.)

The most positive aspect of registering as a farmer is that if you want to provide any sort of tourist activity, and providing your turnover is no more than a third of the farm turnover, then you pay no extra cotisations. So for a few grand a year you and all your dependents are insured for a good percentage of their health cover.

It's difficult to give really good advice without knowing what you want to do. There are too many options to consider. Downsize or improve your "standing" ? Be rich or be poor ? Whatever, you have to try to choose the best way of getting yourself health cover and providing yourself and your family with the life you want.

It's always a good idea to see an accountant to discuss your plans, I know it's expensive but you'll get personal advice and it could be a good investment. Wink
Vanessa

Thank you again Irene. My head is spinning with bits of information gleaned from various places. It was anyway, before I did my back in and before "uncle Nick" moved the goal-posts Rolling Eyes I'll try to consolidate my thoughts onto "paper" (for that read "Microsoft Word" Wink ) and go from there.
escapedchickens

Yes, thank you HWH, you really are a mine of information!
Basically, we have decided to set up our place as an association (loi 1901), as this gives us the possibility of earning money in a similar way to a micro-entreprise, but is more flexible (ability to obtain certain subventions, etc).
In such a case, I imagine that the MSA can't ask for any cotisations of any sort, in any way; and I am assuming that an association is entitled to buy livestock, so long as it follows the rules outlined before regarding the chambre d'agriculture?
Has anyone else ever done something similar/have any advice?
dudz

Tagged sheep in France

Just waking this thread up again....... Very Happy

I have several tagged sheep. All registered with the" EDE de Bretagne".

Question is : I have one ewe that does'nt produce lambs....
Do they "have" to go to the slaughter house or can I do it for my own consumption ?
Obviously I would have to notify EDE that I have one less.
Vanessa

As I understand the regs, you may kill for your OWN consumption, but may not feed it to friends or family. Confused
dudz

form

So , what would I put down on the form for EDE ?
All I can find is a space for movement to another address or slaughter house.
Vanessa

That I don't know, I'm afraid, never having known anyone DO a home-slaughter.
happyhippo

I'd ask my neighbour but I feel that although he could slaughter for us he doesnt follow any rules other than those of "apero" Laughing
dpack

All farm animals must be tagged, even if they sleep on your sofa. Smile

Laughing Laughing Laughing

even dpack has been offered eartags Laughing
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