France promulgates a “progressive” ban on wild animals in circuses, the captivity of marine mammals and mink farms

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France will begin to phase out the use of wild animals in traveling circuses and marine mammals held in captivity in marine parks as part of its new animal welfare policy. The country has also pledged to end mink farms in the next few years, which has been described as a historic victory by conservation groups.

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The French government has announced a new round of sweeping measures to protect wild animals, including a “Progressive” ban on wild animals in traveling circuses, ending the captivity of aquatic animals in marine parks and eliminating the breeding of mink. Wildlife, including tigers, bears and lions, will no longer be allowed in circuses under the new laws, although the policy will not apply to zoos and more details remain on a firm schedule.

Barbara Pompili, the country’s minister of ecological transition, told reporters that it was “time to open a new era in our relationship with these animals”, as reported by BBC. “It is time that our ancestral fascination with these savages no longer meant that they found themselves in captivity.”

Source: Orca Aware

Pompili cited scientific evidence on the cruelty of keeping orcas and dolphins in captivity, and said dolphinariums across the country will now be banned from keeping these marine mammals in entertainment shows for the next two years. Over the next seven years, all French marine parks will have to end the use of dolphins. Under the same law, the construction of all new marine parks will be effectively abolished with immediate effect.

It is time to open a new era in our relationship with these animals. It is time that our ancestral fascination with these savages no longer meant that they found themselves in captivity.

Barbara Pompili, French Minister for the Ecological Transition

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At present, there are four orcas kept in captivity in France and three dolphinariums.

Citing recent studies that show how conscious killer whales and dolphins are in their captivity, Pompili announced that French dolphinaria would be banned from keeping killer whales used in shows within two years. Under the same ban, marine parks have seven years to stop the use of dolphins.

Source: Humane League International

We can no longer keep wild animals for the sole purpose of slaughtering them to wear them in clothing.

Barbara Pompili, French Minister for the Ecological Transition

The ban on mink farms will see the country phase out all mink farms by 2025. Mink are small mammals often exploited in the production of fur for fashion and clothing as well as in the cosmetics industry, especially for false eyelashes.

“We can no longer keep wild animals for the sole purpose of slaughtering them to wear them in clothes,” the minister tweeted in French.

According to BBC, the French government will propose 8 million euros ($ 9.3 million) in a package intended to help marine parks, circuses and farms deal with new animal welfare policies. The administration also plans to build a sanctuary for current captive animals.

The multitude of new measures have been welcomed by conservationists. Animal rights organization PETA supported the laws, celebrating in a tweeter that “the champagne corks explode” on the announcement of the victory.


Main image courtesy of Bertrand Guay / AFP.

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