A week ago, we told you this macabre discovery in Maraussan, north of Béziers. A cremated horse had been found in a meadow surrounded by vines above the chemin des garigues. The bones were still in the middle of the ashes well out of sight. The head was still concealed in the nearby vegetation.
The owner of the animal has since been identified and heard by the Biterrois gendarmes after the revelations of France Bleu Hérault and the complaint filed by the refuge “Le coin des 4 pattes”. Burning a horse or other animal is illegal, and offenders face heavy fines.
But this former plumber from Maraussan sold in 2018 to a restaurant owner from Biterrois a huge property of 1.8 hectares on which numerous equine bones have been found.
“In 2020, during confinement, I rented a mini digger to do some work. Every time I planted plants, they died. I don’t mind not having a green thumb, but still! Wanting to turn the soil , what was my surprise…” says this catering professional wishing to remain anonymous.
“Impressive quantities of asbestos were buried. Toilets, sinks, many plumbing materials. But especially horse bones. Hooves, horse heads.
”At least two horses are found. There were a lot of bones. I can’t tell you how many horses were buried.” he explains.
Buried waste and carcasses so as not to pay for rendering and waste disposal
The horses were probably not to be identified, as an equestrian professional explains to us. The animals must be microchipped and any animal death must be declared. Burying a corpse is strictly prohibited and each carcass ends up being rendered.
In the neighborhood, a neighbor has already boasted of no longer drinking water from the nearby well because this famous owner of the land would have buried horses. But how much? Impossible to quantify. Is there still any left?
Some 3,000 square meters have been cleaned on this huge property. “We haven’t returned all the space. But I hope there’s nothing else. Given this discovery, I didn’t want to go any further. I’m shocked to see that this man is accustomed to the fact”.
“We evacuated eight dumpsters, including horses. We spent our confinement with the mini digger. I had rental for 2,800 euros”.
But the discoveries don’t stop there. : “When we took over the property after the sale, there were some hungry abandoned animals on the land.”
The former owner would have abandoned goats, dogs, cats, chickens and ducks
At the time, the restaurateur decided not to file a complaint despite the costs incurred. “I spoke about it with my neighbors”, he explains. The Biterrois is now in dispute with the former owner of the premises. “I discovered that the electrical installation, the septic tanks… Nothing was up to standard. I tried to reach him but he is unreachable and would no longer be in the town.
He sold his plot to settle in Béziers after bankruptcy and separation
According to our information, the former plumber had bought three horses in Narbonne and Port-la-Nouvelle. His neighbor at the time in Maraussan, a farrier who had since moved in March 2021, had directed him to breeders: “He never asked for advice and never bought hay with us. He never came to ride with us. He never took lessons. I never tried to understand what horses had become. We were each at home. He had his own plumbing business, I had mine. But I’m surprised at what you’re telling me: he’s someone who has a reputation for being kind and helpful”.
This man was heard last week by the gendarmes of the Béziers company. He formally acknowledged having cremated the horse on his land. The veterinary services went on site, analyzes were carried out. The Béziers public prosecutor’s office will decide on the follow-up to be given to the complaint filed by the animal defense association.
The mystery of the mutilated horses remains intact
Since 2018, the gendarmes have remained attentive to the equine abuse. Very many horses were found dead or dying, all amputated from the right ear. The mystery remains intact. The author(s) are still running. In 2020, more than 150 investigations had been opened in about half of the French departments following an upsurge in acts of cruelty.
These investigations, relayed by the Central Office for the fight against attacks on the environment and public health, do not provide an answer. All trails remain open.