In France Pamfou Dressage and Isabelle Judet, professionals working with competition horses (dressage) initiated a case of alleged criminal defamation against Eva Van Avermaet, a veterinarian. She was, on social media, criticizing certain practices and training methods with dressage horses as applied or tolerated by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs requested an amount of 18.000 EUR for financial compensation because of economic and moral damages. They also requested for a court decision ordering Eva van Avermaet to publish a press release via “Grand Prix Magazine” and social media stating that she had been criminally convicted for defamation of the plaintiffs, apart from the conviction to all legal costs of the procedure. By judgment of 10 June 2021 the criminal tribunal of Vannes declared the request null and void. The legal action against Eva Van Avermaet is a clear example of a SLAPP (Strategic Litigation against Public Participation), a form of abusive litigation with the aim to intimidate, harass or silence a critical voice that took part in a debate on a matter of public interest. For more information on the issue of SLAPPS, see www.the-case.eu.
The relation between top trained horses and SLAPP
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