Monday 31 July 2023 | 5

The One Voice, AVES, and PAZ Associations are rallying so that Valentin the bear will not be exhibited in Troyes this summer

The One Voice, AVES, and PAZ Associations are rallying so that Valentin the bear will not be exhibited in Troyes this summer

Mis à jour le 25 October 2023

The ‘hunting and countryside’ festival has been organised for 20 August 2023 at Château de Vaux and is planning to present a trained bear named Valentin to the public for two performances. The AVES France, One Voice, and PAZ Associations have joined forces and written to the festival organisers, the Aube department Prefect (Cécile Dindar), and to the Troyes Mayor (François Baroin). Our three organisations are asking that Valentin will not be presented to the public during this event. Support our action by signing our petition!

Hr blog

Updated 7 August 2023:

Victory for AVES, One Voice, and PAZ: Valentin the bear will not be shown at Château de Vaux

Following the petition by the AVES FRANCE, ONE VOICE, and PAZ Associations, the owner of Château de Vaux in Champagne, Édouard Guyot, responded to us in writing that there will be no shows with Valentin the bear during the ‘hunting and countryside’ festival.
He clarified: “the programme has not been updated since 2021. This show was not planned either for this year or last year. Furthermore, the owner is no longer authorised to go on public outings.” We thank him for having removed it.

Our collective rallying has thus allowed this clarification. We are glad about this and remain vigilant. We are calling for all festivals and other fêtes to stop enslaving animals for their shows. Regarding Valentin, we are asking for him to be placed in a suitable refuge so that he can finally live the life of a bear.

Bears are wild animals who cannot in any case be fulfilled in captivity. Some of them, like Valentin, are taken away from their mothers from a very early age in order to create a dependence between the animal and their trainer who keeps them in captivity. Through unnecessarily violent training, the bear ‘shower’ gets blind submission from their animal. These bears are enclosed for their whole lives and transported, sometimes over long distances, to places to be showed. Their living conditions are intolerable; we also very often see behavioural problems (such as stereotypies) and states of chronic anxiety. The fact that Valentin travels in an air-conditioned trailer from town to town to be exploited is in no way a guarantee of his well-being. It is just a diversion to make the public and organisers believe that this bear is treated well, while his simple participation in shows is against all of the needs of his species.

In accordance with the law of 30 November 2021 against animal mistreatment, keeping wild animals in travelling performance establishments will be banned from now until 1 December 2028, while acquiring them, commercialising them, and breeding them will be banned as of 1 December 2023. Regarding the bears and wolves, showing them to the public for travelling shows will become illegal from the end of the year.

While waiting for this law to be implemented, the AVES France, One Voice, and PAZ Associations are worried about the fate reserved for Valentin, and are asking that he urgently be put into retirement and be placed in a sanctuary as soon as possible. For this to happen, him being exploited for shows showing his complete submission must stop!

Furthermore, during the festival, many activities using animals have been offered to the public. To cite a few examples:

  • large game exhibition in one of the castle’s rooms;
  • presentation on foot of digging hunting dogs and packs of running hounds;
  • equestrian show – dressage;
  • falconry display;
  • big show of underground hound hunting.

Others could also be carried out, primarily aimed at children, such as visits to a puppy park, pony promenades, or even being pulled in a carriage.

On one hand, these demonstrations are not educational. What example do they give to young generations? The animals are considered as simple objects for entertainment that we can manipulate, exploit, and use without any consideration for their wants or needs. This reification of animals conflicts with the education of future generations to be more respectful of their environment and the individuals with which they share it.

On the other, this environment is totally unsuitable for the animals. Voluntarily subjecting them to such levels of stress for a purely recreational purpose is cruel and unethical. Dogs, horses, and birds, who incidentally have extraordinary cognitive and sentient capabilities, are reduced to numbers here.

We are also extremely concerned about the conditions that the animals are being kept in during the festival. In fact, the festival was organised right in the middle of August, when outdoor temperatures are often higher at that time of year. In these conditions, the individuals could suffer from the heat, in particular during their shows, and would also be subjected to the stress of visitors passing by and the noise, with no possibility of getting away from it.

As it stands, this festival and the displaying of animals certainly will tarnish Château de Vaux’s image, which also has an undeniable cultural interest.

For all of these reasons, we are urging the authorities (Prefecture and town council) and organisers to act in favour of the animals being shown during the ‘Hunting and countryside’ festival and to, from now on, stop the two scheduled performances of Valentin the bear, in order to favour more ethical shows instead. Our associations are willing to provide their expertise on this subject and remain at the disposition of anyone for any request for further information.

We are inviting the public to sign our petition !

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Hr blog

In the subject

Justice for Jon, Céleste, Patty, Hannah, and Marli: hearing in Évreux against the Cirque de Paris Against all odds for Samba, the last ‘circus’ elephant, whose suffering has broken the State’s indifference

Comments 5

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

Olivo | Wednesday 23 August 2023

Arrêtons ces spectacles avec les animaux, qui apportent de l'argent à des individus dénués d'amour pour ces bêtes. Nous ne sommes plus au moyen-âge...

Béa | Monday 07 August 2023

Pas étonnant que ce soient ces chasseurs barbares qui associent à leurs tueries l'asservissement de toute forme animale à ces spectacles immondes !!!
Il faudrait obtenir l'interdiction de telles démonstrations.
J'ose espérer que l'ours "Valentin" sera délivré des mains de son tortionnaire pour rejoindre enfin un sanctuaire et non pas être oublié dans un "zoo - prison"...

Yvabra | Monday 07 August 2023

Il faut laisser tranquille cette pauvre bête ! Les animaux ne sont pas des objets ,il faut respecter leur sensibilité !

Christ | Thursday 03 August 2023

Spectacle sous torture
Apprenez à respecter l'animal.
Seules les personnes peuvent se donner en spectacle contre rénumération, si on se sert d'un animal, la sentence doit être lourde.