Saturday 24 March 2018 | 23

The example of Ajaccio and Bastia for circus animals

Mis à jour le 28 May 2018

On March the 19th and the 20th, we were invited by the activists of "La Corse dit stop aux cirques avec animaux" (Corsicans say stop to circuses with animals), to meet with the town halls of Bastia and Ajaccio, to discuss the most effective way of reinforcing these measures that they have put in place to prohibit the installation of circuses with animals on their territory.

Hr blog

Bastia was the first stop on our working trip to Corsica on Saint Joseph's Day, one of the most important days for the city. The town hall was closed to honour the procession of the patron saint of Bastia, and Pierre Savelli, the mayor, still spared a moment to greet us. His chief of staff, Jean-Yves Bonifay, opened the town hall especially for our interview.

We were able to bring to him many elements of legal order, an expertise on the decree taken by the city in 2017. In fact, the family circus syndicate systematically assaulted the decisions of the town halls to ban circuses with animals, seeking to exploit any potential flaws. It must be said that to circulate these ideas on the internet, unfortunately for the town halls, are far from reliable.

And in any case, what we have learned is that in Corsica also, the Circus people do not hesitate to break the law by settling without authorization, even to threaten campaigners with handguns. 

The last one to have obtained authorization to settle, has done on the express condition that none of the animals are on show, Mr Bonifay adds: "There will be birds and cats. Pets, we will be keeping an eye open”. Because the decree of the mayor of Bastia specifies that the ban is valid for wild animals but also domestic, and affects not only elephants and big cats but also llamas, dogs etc...

For the mayor of Bastia and his chief of staff, the debate is strong within society, and which requires a strong response from the representatives of the people.

The next day in Ajaccio, the same warm welcome from Laurent Marcangeli is reserved for us. The mayor of this imperial city receives us in his office, under a portrait of Josephine, the wife of Napoleon.

The decision - unanimously - from the Municipal Council, prohibiting circuses with animals to settle in the municipality is attacked by the Circus people, with the support of the Prefecture. Beyond all considerations essential for the well-being of the citizens of Ajaccio, such as the safety of the public during events, Laurent Marcangeli is extremely committed to supporting the animal cause, and listening to his citizens. "From the beginning of this matter, I am acting with conviction, I know that it is a strong, very strong and legitimate debate today, which agitates the public debate, and that many municipalities have the same position as me."

"I do not want to deprive the children of Ajaccio of shows, but I do not want to take my children to see some of these shows, it's not a natural environment, it does not educate the child the realities of these beings.”

This elected man has already many years of experiences behind him and multiplies projects in favour of animals. He has already opposed in his city the installation of a traveling aquarium, which contains a shark. He plans to set up a refuge for cats and to fight against strays in a sustainable way, and to support the local community networks in difficulties on combating this theme. He tackles issues related to urban lifestyles that encompass animals. During our exchange, no animal has been forgotten.

These two Corsican politicians are attached to the exceptional natural heritage of their island, and work – as pioneers- to put municipal actions in place in accordance with their convictions for the defence of animals, in the general interest, and the popular demand. For the Sate of France a lesson in democracy is to be learnt here.

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Samba — the eternal exploitation of a circus elephant New investigation at Parc Saint Léger where cats are visible from the road

Comments 23

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

Jesuismoi | Wednesday 04 April 2018

cela donne envie d'aller en Corse! Bravo à cette courageuse municipalité

Coco | Tuesday 03 April 2018

Bravo ! Puisse-t-il y avoir plus de maires qui aient ce courage et cette sensibilité !

trochu | Monday 02 April 2018

Je suis vraiment très touchée et heureuse pour de telles décisions si importantes et précieuses des Corses concernant le refus de la présence des animaux dans les cirques, un GRAND GRAND BRAVO ET MERCI à eux et à ONE VOICE pour agir et agir afin de faire libérer tous les animaux sauvages et autres animaux domestiques dans les cirques français étant donné que des animaux n'ont absolument rien à faire dans de tels endroits ce qui relève de l'évidence !

ninette | Sunday 01 April 2018

BRAVO les Corses et merci à One Voice.