France will see a total ban on the use of wild animals in traveling circuses within seven years and marine mammals in captivity within five years.
The Animal Welfare Law, which was passed on November 18, will affect around 800 wild animals and 25 marine mammals.
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What will become of the circus animals?
Many wild animals held in circuses have been bred in captivity, which means that they would not survive life in the wild.
The president of the animal rights association Code Animal, Alexandra Morette, said: “Normally, we would like these animals to go to partner reception structures such as shelters.
“We don’t have solutions for all wildlife, but we are working with the government to create new places and structures or to expand existing structures. “
These also include zoos and sanctuaries.
Animal Code has an ongoing petition, which has so far garnered nearly 100,000 signatures, asking the government to help turn three public zoos into reception centers for captive wild animals, as well as to make the animals the property. legal of animal protection associations.
Ms. Morette also asked the public to alert Code Animal of the presence of circuses using wild animals so that the organization can track their movements.
However, the new law only applies to traveling circuses (as opposed to fixed circuses), which means that “some of these animals will remain in the circuses,” according to the co-founder of the animal rights group Association Paris. Animals Zoopolis (PAZ) Amandine Sanvisens.
“The old circuses, as it is unfortunately the law in France, own the animals, which means that if they want to keep them, they can. They are not allowed to use them for traveling shows but if they want to keep them, locate themselves on a fixed site, and continue to exhibit them in shows, that would be legal, ”she said.
She also explained that the law provides for the creation of a commission that will work together to find solutions.
It will likely include a group representing circuses, government, animal rights associations and veterinarians – but the exact participants will be decided in a decree issued by Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili.
Ms. Sanvisens said: “We hope that as many animals as possible will be placed in shelters in France, Europe and even Africa, so that they have an end of life as close as possible to their natural environment.
She urged the public to avoid supporting animal captivity by refusing to watch shows that use wild animals, as well as writing and emailing local lawmakers asking them to ensure this law is implemented. square.
What will happen to marine mammals?
Building a center for the protection of marine life in France is the only option for these animals, according to Frédérique Gilbert, founder and director of the Cetasea association, which aims to build such a center in France.
“We are working on it,” she said.
“Cetasea has been around for six years, so we offer a space for rest and rehabilitation, research, education and conservation. We are working on a space where animals that have no place to live can be accommodated, just as there are refuges for birds and land mammals.
Cetasea is in talks for the construction of such a center in the Bay of Biscay “as soon as possible”, with an initial budget of 5 million euros.
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