Nouveau Cirque Triomphe: One Voice vs Gougeon and Mordon at the Bourgoin-Jallieu Tribunal on 14 September

Nouveau Cirque Triomphe: One Voice vs Gougeon and Mordon at the Bourgoin-Jallieu Tribunal on 14 September

Circuses
12.09.2022
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On Wednesday 14 September at 9am, the hearing at the Bourgoin-Jallieu Legal Tribunal regarding the case opposing One Voice against the Gougeon-Mordons will take place.

On Wednesday 14 September at 9am, the hearing at the Bourgoin-Jallieu Legal Tribunal will take place regarding one of the branches of the case between One Voice and Gougeon. This family of circus performers whose brothers and cousins share the Idéal, Italiano, Nouveau Cirque Triomphe, and Cirque de Paris circuses (where in 2020 we seized the lion who we renamed Jon, and four lionesses, Patty, Marli, Hannah, and Céleste).

Edit from 19 September 2022

The hearing has been postponed to 16 January 2023 at 1:30pm.

In 2022, we filed a complaint against Joseph and Stéphane Gougeon, owners of the Nouveau Cirque Triomphe, and against Guy Mordon. In fact, none of them had licences to open or competency certifications allowing them to exploit lions, which they have not stopped doing for years nevertheless.

Joseph Gougeon did not obtain a renewal of his competency certification, which he lost in 2017
following numerous serious irregularities noted in his circus by the authorities. His son, who he entrusted the animals to, did not have one either. Since, the Nouveau Cirque Triomphe has no right to keep lions or even to open the establishment. They decided to ‘give’ the lions up to Guy Mordon, the uncle of Stéphane Gougeon, who himself is at capacity. But, as we discovered, the lions have never actually set foot in Guy Mordon’s circus (although the babies have been born!). They are therefore to blame for having deceived the authorities about this, and for having opened the establishment without authorisation or any competent person.

Imaginative identifications, births, a missing logbook, swapping animals, selling post mortem to an unapproved taxidermist… Did you say trafficking?

On our side, we know thanks to an enquiry that the trainers from this family do not hesitate in lying to traffic animals, since a lion kept by the Gougeons had the same identification as Jon, the lion seized in June 2020 by the association. They let them seize a lion in a bad state to be able to keep the lion identified in the logbook and since moved him to Tonga just before he was to be seized, as ordered by the justice system. He is called Tarzan.

We also know that Joseph Gougeon gave a lion’s remains to a taxidermist, who turned out not to be approved. Our investigation revealed that this taxidermist sold the skins for around 15 to 20 thousand euros each, and that he worked with other circuses. He even confessed to our investigators that it was possible to get a lion put down to order, under dubious pretexts.

Over the years, the Gougeons have not cared about checks, visits, or inspections by the authorities: changing the place, lying… while they should not have been keeping any lions!

During one of the checks for Jon and the lionesses, the issue of the logbook of identifications and health monitoring was posed. The Gougeons then alleged that the book had been forgotten or lost during a trip to their mother’s house…

In 2018, we were already trying to seize the lions and lionesses from the cirque Italiano, big cats kept by other members of this family.

We are waiting for an exemplary punishment and for the animals to be secured

Lies, proof of trafficking… from the birth of the animals to their lives filled with exploitation, enclosed in a lorry-cage, repeatedly moved from one establishment to another, non-existent or very weak traceability, and their skins sold by a reseller with debatable professionalism, the punishment must be exemplary.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

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