Friday 16 September 2022 | 0

Tigers belonging to a cirque M. Masson trainer: Hearing in Beauvais on 20/09 following One Voice’s investigation


Mis à jour le 01 December 2022

One Voice will be present at the hearing at the Beauvais Tribunal on 20 September to obtain the definitive placement of the ten tigers seized from Mario Masson following the investigation and complaint by the association in 2019-2020. The circus trainer is accused in particular of mistreatment of animals by a professional, non-authorised opening, and the illegal operation of an establishment (undeclared work, forgery and use of forgery, fraud) — crimes — and of the illegal transfer, keeping, and marking of animals.

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An investigation by One Voice of almost two years before the justice system ordered the seizure of the ten tigers

One Voice’s investigation started at the beginning of 2019. At the beginning, we only had a few of the elements, the layout of the places not allowing us to film them accurately; the first case file was therefore dismissed due to lack of evidence. We had to go further. For One Voice to fulfil its function as a whistleblower, the investigators had to take all of the risks and provide irrefutable proof to the justice system.

We therefore gave a constant flow of videos covering six days and nights to the justice system so that our complaint would be taken into consideration. With the investigation by the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) and Parquet having completed our complaint and our first pieces of information, enough irregularities had been noted for the seizure of ten tigers to be ordered. That is how, on 16 December 2020, we organised the biggest seizure of tigers kept in captivity in Europe in the last ten years.

Since, the tigers have been living at Tonga Terre d’Accueil, our partner. They have gone from their lives in a lorry-cage, to one allowing them access to an outdoor space with grass, woody headlands, varied enrichment, and a caring team.

Twelve indictments from animal mistreatment to fraud via undeclared work, with animal trafficking in the background...

The investigation also revealed multiple shortcomings. Here are the indictments for which Mario Masson will appear on 20 September at the Beauvais Legal Tribunal:

  • mistreatment of an animal by a professional or a refuge (criminal offence);
  • unauthorised opening of an establishment for non-domestic animals — breeding, sale, rental, transit (criminal offence);
  • illegal exploitation of an establishment keeping non-domestic animals (lack of facilities and equipment needed to ensure the welfare of the animals housed, to meet their physiological and behavioural needs) (criminal offence);
  • illegal exploitation of an establishment keeping non-domestic animals (maintenance unsuitable for the species and number of animals in order for them to be kept in a good state of health and upkeep (criminal offence);
  • illegal exploitation of an establishment keeping non-domestic animals (lack of devices intended to prevent risks relating to safety as well as the safety and peacefulness of third parties) (criminal offence);
  • illegal exploitation of an establishment keeping non-domestic animals (not keeping the records of entry and departure up to date for the animals) (criminal offence);
  • illegal exploitation of an establishment keeping non-domestic animals (sporadic keeping of the veterinary care book) (criminal offence);
  • unauthorised sale of non-domestic animals or their products — special protection (criminal offence);

and

  • keeping a non-domestic animal of a protected or controlled species in captivity without having marked them;
  • marking a non-domestic animal of a protected or controlled species with an illegal method;
  • marking a non-domestic animal of a protected or controlled species without dispatching the marking certificate to the administrator of the national record within the deadline;
  • transfer of a non-domestic animal of a protected or controlled species that is unmarked;

We can read between the lines that all of the elements to traffic wild animals are listed, in addition to the mistreatment that permanent imprisonment represents for the tigers, with the aggravated condition of being a professional...

We are waiting for an exemplary sanction, but most of all for the tigers not to be returned to the Massons and for them to finally be placed permanently in a sanctuary.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Historical ruling: the circus trainer of the ten tigers seized following a One Voice investigation has been heavily convicted! The Muller Circus in Vallauris: illegal set-up, a dumping ground, animals kept in despicable conditions...

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