In a magnificent victory for wild animals, France is phasing out their use in circuses across the country as well as dolphins and killer whales in marine park shows. Finally free from captivity.
No more lions, tigers and elephants will be seen in the traveling circuses, because its operators will no longer obtain new authorizations to keep wild animals.
« [It’s] the time that our ancestral fascination for these animals no longer translates into situations where we favor their captivity over their well-being ”, declared Barbara Pompili, Minister of the Environment of France.
Calling it a “new era in our relationship with these animals”.
Animal rights protesters will hail this as a big step in the right direction, with Peta France, the animal rights organization, saying the government’s decision was a “historic victory”.
Pompili said the government would set aside € 8 million to help circuses and marine parks and that phasing out these practices would change the lives of some people.
Removal of wildlife from exhibits would occur immediately along with any attempt to breed animals in captivity. Other measures should take place later.
Mink farms would be phased out of the country by 2025.
The process of phasing out killer whales and dolphins should take a little longer; killer whales are no longer allowed in captivity for shows from 2022 and dolphins are no longer allowed in shows from 2027.
There are currently three dolphinariums in France, according to Pompili, which means their elimination will take a little longer.
There are only four orcas currently in captivity in France, which means they could be wiped out faster.
She said that “studies have shown that animals have emotional intelligence and awareness of what is around them as well as a need for social connections.”
The announcement was described as “unfair” by the director of Marineland Antibes Pascal Picot, the only marine park in France with orcas.
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