Wednesday 14 April 2021 | 6

Three court hearings in one day for the Poliakovs’ animals

Three court hearings in one day for the Poliakovs’ animals

Mis à jour le 27 April 2021

For years, One Voice has fought for the case concerning the animals being kept and used by the Poliakovs to be put before the court due to them being victims of mistreatment. Investigations and legal proceedings have been carried out. Almost two years after our on-site investigation, the time for justice is finally coming to a head with three court hearings at the Orléans Administrative Court on 15 April at 11am acting as a warm-up before the criminal prosecution in May.

Hr blog

Edit on April 22nd

The Court decision is expected on April 29th.

Like a bolt from the blue, our 2019 investigation revealed how two trainers were keeping bears: in nefarious prisons. Micha’s paws and airways had been eaten away by maggots, her body scarred from beatings she’d received in the past; there were also untreated lumps around Glasha’s eyes. What would have happened to Bony if, without our footage, he had been kept in these prison conditions? Élisabeth Borne, Minister for Ecological Transition at the time, was personally invested in the matter. Micha died after having experienced a few weeks of respite. What happened to Mina, the little Barbary macaque who was imprisoned in what seemed to be a mini dump site at the property? And the birds, several macaws and cockatoos among them, the donkeys, and the ponies?

At the time, we submitted multiple administrative appeals because, from our point of view, the Prefecture of Loir-et-Cher should ultimately take responsibility: namely ensuring the well-being of wild animals kept in captivity. How do you explain that the crimes unveiled at every veterinary examination for more than ten years have never been followed up with any sanctions?

On 15 April 2021 at 11am, three hearings will take place at the Orléans Administrative Court.  

Request to withdraw various authorisations

The first is our request for the withdrawal of the certificates that verify that the trainers can keep and use wild animals, the cancellation of the opening order for the establishment belonging to the Bruneau-Poliakov couple, and the capture of animals. Without a response from the Prefecture of Loir-et-Cher, we pushed for their implicit denial to carry out these withdrawals. For us, there is no shadow of a doubt that the acts of cruelty and mistreatment exist.

However, for the Prefecture, the bears’ prison conditions, shown by our investigation, aren’t sufficient for them to remove the other animals, especially because the trainer duo are likely to be very attached to their animals; in other words, Micha, Bony and Glasha lived as sub-beings, but the Poliakovs had built palaces for the other animals elsewhere at their property… who can really believe that for a moment?

Wishing to proceed with an inspection in January 2020, the Prefecture’s services were denied access, but did not insist, despite being permitted by law to do so. Therefore, no one could say in what state Mina the little Barbary macaque is currently living, or the birds, or even if they are in good heath or still alive! Mina has been kept illegally, without authorisation, for over ten years. Is that the way the law is implemented when endangered animal species are concerned?

Request that Bony and Glasha should not be handed over to the trainers before their trial

We voluntarily became involved in the withdrawal procedure and the immediate and temporary care of Bony and Glasha (now called Franca), the two bears who survived Micha. Their care has been arranged by the Prefecture at the request of the Minister for Ecological Transition; one at the Alternative Wolf and Bear Park in the Black Forest in Germany and the other at L’Arche Animal Shelter in France. We want to make sure that they will never be given back to the Poliakovs. A mere doubt on the prison conditions would be sufficient for the Administrative Tribunal to prevent them being given back to the Bruneau-Poliakov couple between now and when the court rules on the charges against them.

Request that the authorities pay for their inaction and shortcomings

We have highlighted the serious shortcomings of the State committed by the Prefecture of Loir-et-Cher in their mission to protect wild animals kept by the Bruneau-Poliakov couple. For this we requested 50,000 euros in compensation for moral harm in November 2019. Since then, the Prefecture has confirmed receipt of our request and since 29 January 2020 we have pushed for their implicit denial to pay these damages. This will be the subject of the third hearing.

On 15 April in Orléans, all of the hearings that we have requested will take place so that the Prefecture can finally face up to their responsibilities. The power to protect wild captive animals sits with their department. For us, this responsibility has not been taken on correctly in the past and still now continues not to be.

The plight of Bony and Glasha is still hanging on these decisions; nothing has been resolved for Mina or the birds. Worse still, we don’t know what state they are in. We are now justified to expect that the actions of the State will be faultless.

In addition to these hearings, the trial of the couple themselves is scheduled at the criminal court on 12 May in Blois for severe abuse, acts of cruelty and mistreatment, and the care or maintenance of an animal in an environment that can cause suffering.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

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 6

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

w.a. milani | Friday 07 May 2021

Stop these cruelties !
This is the 21st century !!!
The human species needs to evolve !
The greatness of a nation - can be judged - by the way it's animals - are treated !!!
mahatma gandhi

M | Saturday 24 April 2021

Arrêtez . Je ne peux plus supporter de voir des animaux dans un cirque .
Je ne pourrais jamais comprendre, comment ces gens (du cirque) peuvent utiliser des êtres vivants, en les séquestrant et en les obligeant, à faire des actes qui sont contre leur nature .
Tout ceci pour les caprices de certains, pour divertir des gens insensibles au bien-être animal et surtout gagner de l'argent sur le dos de ceux-ci .
Laissez-les vivre en paix, dans leur milieu naturel, arrêtez de les capturer et de les emprisonner.
Ces animaux ne sont pas crée pour satisfaire vos besoins méprisables. Ils ont leur propre existence.
Chez eux dans la nature et dans leur pays.
Je suis pour une loi stricte, contre les animaux dans les cirques, les zoo etc.

Charlotte | Thursday 15 April 2021

Comme la majorité des citoyens je soutiens One Voice dans leur démarche pour qu'enfin les animaux puissent être mis en sécurité et que les Poliakov Bruneau paient pour les horreurs faites à leurs animaux et n'aient plus le droit d'en posséder.

Alexis | Wednesday 14 April 2021

Plus de cirque !!