Tuesday 29 September 2020 | 33

Wild animals in captivity: very vague measures

Wild animals in captivity:  very vague measures

Mis à jour le 30 September 2020

Barbara Pompili has just announced measures on animal welfare that have been awaited for more than a year and result from working groups in which we took part along with other animal-rights organisations and the ministers concerned. So what exactly are we talking about? A law? Regulations? Decrees? As all too often in France, we have waited a very long time for vague and minimal progress in this field. But nobody is fooled. These measures are going in the right direction but are too weak, don't deal with the fundamental problem and fall well short of what society expects!

Hr blog

Five years to close down 4 mink farms, 2 of which are subject to legal proceedings? It was high time!

In four years seven mink farms have closed;  there are therefore no more than four still operating. And we have begun legal proceedings against two of these four. Moreover the hearing about the one in Montarlot is scheduled for 13 October. 

As the association that acted as rapporteur of the group on fur when it met at the Ministry of Ecology during the Spring and Summer of 2019, it is precisely thanks to our unceasing and repeated campaigningthat these mink farms have eventually closed! We were supported by our partners in the Fur Free Alliance, who have again recently challenged the French embassies in their countries. 

When one thinks that Poland, the second-biggest supplier of fur in the world, is going to close theirs down and that the Netherlands is closing their 160 mink farms in March when they had expected to take three years over it, France is taking its time.  But we have noted this long-awaited decision and are continuing our campaign to ensure that no mink are born next Spring on these cruel and polluting farms.

No date for the end of circuses ... training hidden from view and anyone's guess when it will be implemented!

No end date announced, no information on how it will take place!  Hippopotamuses and elephants will be the first to benefit from the end of captivity and travelling circuses.  It will be introduced gradually.  Big cats last.  But the Minister forgets that the circus is not only about travelling:  it is also about training, which is completely hidden from view!  And what about the animals that are not used in performances, which shouldn't even be held in captivity?

The Minister of Ecology received circus representatives last week, and the discussions were "heated" if the trainers are to be believed. Other meetings are expected to take place.  Allowing circuses several years to stop exploiting felines is another slap in the face for the lions and tigers that have never known anything else for their whole lives.  It is a slap in the face for those that have been slaughtered. It is a slap in the face for the hippopotamuses and elephants that will remain in circus wagons for months or even years, some until they die.  For Jumbo, Boulie, Mina and Kamala, Nelly and Brigit – already more than 50 years on the road.  For Baby and Samba too. 

In 21 years of campaigning for the abolition of circuses in France we have seen two thirds of circuses give up using animals in performances.  There were 500 big cats in circuses 21 years ago.  How can the State ensure that its measures are observed when there isn't even a register of wild animals kept in circuses?  Big cats have always ensured that trafficking remained lucrative.

Muriel Arnal, Chair of One Voice, says:

« We have waited more than a year for these measures to be announced. It would not be worrying if they were not so vague. More than twenty-three countries in Europe have already passed clear legislation! India and New York have passed legislation! We expected France to roar for all those suffering animals but it has barely squeaked." »

The leviathans of the ocean will leave their chlorinated pools starting 7 years from now

We are delighted about the immediate ban on breeding and the ban on the acquisition of new captive cetaceans in line with our requests.  The Minister envisages that a sanctuary will be set up and we and our partners are offering our expertise.  Yesterday two belugas obtained their semi-freedom.  It is both possible and desirable!  Since January 2018, when the dolphinarium decree adopted in May 2017 was set aside, the State has stood by and allowed dolphins to be born and die in captivity.  It is deplorable that for three years dolphin calves were born in those pools.  After we submitted a writ against the State to the Council of State for an administrative error it made it wait for a year, assuring the highest administrative court in France that animal-welfare measures were on their way.  Today these announcements are constructive and we are now awaiting details relating to individuals currently held in captivity.  Another question needs to be asked:  where are the orcas going to go in two years' time?

We deplore the lack in these announcements of some fundamental themes and firm decisions, but we are not surprised that France is so spineless in this regard.  France was and therefore is still way off the mark, out of step with what society expects, because the Minister has provided neither time-frame nor date nor method of implementation.  Obviously at least the words have been spoken, but the government must not think that we shall be content with compromises.  We cannot wait another ten or fifteen years before there is further progress!  The animals certainly can't wait.

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Finance bill: One Voice is stepping up to the plate to defend their right to inform on cruelty to animals Finance bill: an additional amendment to silence civil society

Comments 33

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

Magdalena | Thursday 01 October 2020

Méfions -nous car si ces élevages doivent fermer ,aucune date n' est stipulée et les pressions sont toujours présentes au sein d'un gouvernemnt peu pressé de les supprimer
les délais accordés semblent bien trop longs

marie | Thursday 01 October 2020

oui je suis contente de la loi qui vient d'étre votée par la ministre, mais attention les dates sont un peu loin il faut des dates claires et rapides pour ne plus faire attendre les animaux qui sont en souffrance encore et encore

mj | Thursday 01 October 2020

Méfiance,méfiance.Vous avez raison de douter. Ne soyons pas dupes, il faut des lois claires et rapides pour ne plus faire attendre les animaux. Sinon, combien d'entre eux vont mourir sous les mauvais traitements.

Louve | Wednesday 30 September 2020

Vous avez raison rien n'est acquis, tant qu'une loi n'est pas votée afin que dans les cirques il n'y ait plus un seul animal captif il ne faut pas relâcher la pression, et continuer le combat. Il y a une petite lueur d'espoir mais le bout du tunnel n'est pas encore là. Les chasseurs, les circassiens vont faire entendre leurs voix et le gouvernement les écoutera…… eux….!!!!!!!