A dozen sheep from the Landes de Bruyère, an endangered species, have just taken up their quarters at the foot of the prison of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in Isère to replace the lawn mowers, but not only.
Eco-grazing is on the rise and many companies are now using it. Some prisons have set themselves and Bourg-en-Bresse, explains the association Naturama, which had invited the press Tuesday.
Because the advantage is multiple. Already economical since natural mowing costs about 30% less than mechanical mowing. In addition, sheep are a guarantee of biodiversity: their droppings will bring back the coprophagous insects (which eat faeces), which will themselves bring predators (frogs, birds) on this area become "monospecific" with some clovers who fight duel, says Christophe Darpheuil, director of the association.
But above all, he hopes that these sheep will improve the welfare of prison guards. "It makes movement, at least the supervisor in the watchtower has something to look at," says Thibaut Dionet, the infrastructure and security manager of the prison.
Because the sheep are precisely in the "glacis", this area buffer, between the concrete walls and the fences surrounding the site
Initially, there was some reluctance and concern. Do sheep have enough water? Are they not cold?
So it was necessary to make pedagogy, explain that the sheep of the Landes de Bruyère are an extremely rustic breed from the Netherlands. The flock does not need a cabin, an important element to ensure safety here.
But after two months of cohabitation, the benefits are already felt and we cross the little "Véro", first born of this life at the edge of prison, a wink at the real Véronique, a supervisor who has slightly panicked seeing her mother put down alone, without any human assistance.
The detainees, they will have little interaction with the animals except for some bleating or bell sounds that would reach them. But visiting families may find that the welcome is now a little warmer.