Barbara Pompili, French minister for ecological transition, said at a press conference on Tuesday that bears, tigers, lions, elephants and other wild animals will no longer be allowed in traveling circuses “in the years to come “.
In addition, from now on, the three French marine parks will no longer be able to bring in or breed dolphins and killer whales, she said.
“It’s time to open a new era in our relationship with these (wild) animals,” she said, saying animal welfare was a priority.
Pompili said the measures would also end mink farming, where animals are raised for their fur, within the next five years.
The ban does not apply to wild animals in other permanent exhibitions and in zoos.
Pompili did not set a specific date for the ban on traveling circuses, saying the process should start “as soon as possible”. She promised that solutions would be found for each animal “on a case-by-case basis”.
The French government will implement an 8 million euros ($ 9.2 million) program to help people working in circuses and marine parks find other jobs.
“This transition will take several years because it will change the lives of many people,” she said.