Tuesday 07 July 2020 | 173

Unprecedented in France: the action of One Voice results in four lionesses being seized from a circus because of ill-treatment.

Unprecedented in France:  the action of One Voice results in four lionesses being seized from a circus because of ill-treatment.

Mis à jour le 17 July 2020

This morning, 7 July 2020, Hannah, Patty, Céleste and Marli, the companions of Jon, were saved from the circus and should reach the refuge Tonga Terre d’Accueil by the end of the day. The prefecture ordered their seizure and entrusted them to One Voice, now the legal guardian of the four lionesses.

Hr blog

The circus that was holding them was intercepted near the Belgian border a few days after an inspection ordered by the prefecture on the condition of the animals had come to irrefutable conclusions. One Voice has arranged for its partner Natuurhulpcentrum to transfer the lionesses from the circus to the refuge Tonga Terre d’Accueil, to which it is entrusting their day-to-day care until they can be reunited with Jon.  

It is the very first time that animals have been seized from a circus at the request of an association because of ill-treatment.

Saving animals from circuses means saving them from death.

Muriel Arnal, Founder and Chair of One Voice, states: 

« When One Voice launched its campaign twenty years ago (1) nobody imagined what the reality of circus life was for the animals. Today the fate of Jon and his companions shows that circuses not only make animals suffer, they also make them die. »

If a circus wants to make savings or no longer needs its animals, it will starve them to death. However the Ministry of Ecology has no register of these animals even though they belong to threatened species, and as big cats are frequently trafficked between circuses they are immediately replaced.  

Between unwillingness to break the code of silence and inability to follow the regulations

The trainer told the vets and the authorities that he didn't even know the names of the animals shut up in its wagons! The report of the Departmental Office for the Protection of the Public (which includes veterinary services) for the month to 22 June 2020 mentions the register of arrivals and departures and the register of the care given to the animals but it is impossible to consult them because they are alleged to have been stolen from the trainer's brother, a trainer in another circus, after he had unfortunately taken them off to the South of France. As for transparency, we'll come back to that. The animals' papers, where they exist, are sent by e-mail in the form of scans, and often the identifications do not correspond or even are impossible to verify. According to Jon's chip he belongs to another circus belonging to another member of the family.  

A vet's report that cannot be refuted: the lionesses are in bad health.

Limping, injuries, muscle wasting, loss of posterior motor function – the lionesses have a body condition score of 2/5, at best 2.5 out of 5! It is likely that they too have had their front paws declawed, which is illegal, and their fangs (canines) broken.  

Muriel Arnal adds:

« We are dealing with wild animals that are disappearing in nature and on which the worst cruelty is being inflicted totally illegally. Every time we have sounded the alarm bell the suggestion has been to have a meeting. But why is no action being taken? Sitting round a table talking about it is all well and good but in the meantime the animals are still in the wagons! Will the minister, Barbara Pompili, be brave enough to waste no time in issuing the long-awaited decree, as most of our neighbours have already done? We hope so. Meanwhile, if we have to rescue these animals from circuses one by one, that's what we shall do. »

The French Office for Biodiversity and the prefecture have answered our call.

A big thank you to all the officials of the French Office for Biodiversity for their unfailing support in this case, along with the Public Prosecutor's Department of Evreux. We must also give very warm thanks to Jérôme Filippini, the new Prefect of the Eure, who realized the importance of this case and made it possible to organize the seizure of Jon, then of Hannah, Patty, Céleste and Marli. The prefecture is filing a complaint against the circus for ill-treatment of Hannah, Patty, Céleste and Marli and is also to revoke the certificate of competence (which allows the trainer to exploit animals).

And we shall see the trainers in court, where all the evidence will be presented and they will have to answer for the ill-treatment inflicted on these five lions.

(1) https://cirques-sans-animaux.fr

Translated from the French by Patricia Fairey

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Against all odds for Samba, the last ‘circus’ elephant, whose suffering has broken the State’s indifference We will defend the animals from the Franco-Belge Circus before the courts.

Comments 173

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Senga | Sunday 30 August 2020

Merci pour votre action, je suis de tout cœur avec vous, faire souffrir des animaux est immonde et mérite une punition à la hauteur des méfaits que ces tortionnaires leur infligent.

GG | Monday 27 July 2020

C'est tellement gratifiant pour vous qui remuez ciel et terre pour sortir un animal de son enfer, une petite victoire mais un grand bonheur pour ces lions qui ont connu le pire ! Mille mercis à des gens courageux, investis comme vous l'êtes !! Vous ne savez pas le bien que vous nous faites en les sauvant !

PASCALE | Friday 24 July 2020

bravo pour votre action,
encore une fois vous montrez à nos concitoyens et nos gouvernants votre capacité à prendre des initiatives indispensables,
l'impunité des "dresseurs" "éleveurs" et ce petit business qui va avec doit cesser,
vous avez tout mon soutien et mon admiration.

XAVIER6910 | Friday 17 July 2020

"Il n'y a pas d'Enfer pour les animaux, ils y sont déjà!"
Victor HUGO