What happens to wild animals that belong to the circus? The question is just as valid for the next seven years, seven years, in which the circus will be able to continue to hold them without presenting them to the public, as for the following. And it will be put to the fore tomorrow, during a meeting between professionals in the sector and the government. According to William Kerwich, chairman of the Association of Circus and Exhibition Animals, circus owners are pushing up against the wall before the law on animal cruelty, which was passed in the Senate on Thursday.
If the fate of the thousands of wild animals in the 120 current traveling circuses has been the subject of a compromise [il sera interdit de les présenter au public d’ici à deux ans, et de les détenir d’ici à sept ans], William Kerwich condemns him, an “arbitrary law because there is no animal cruelty in our circus”. “And we were not offered any solution,” he explains 20 minutesand thus promises a “mobilization” of the subject from Monday.
No less than 800 animals, including 450 large cats
The challenge is great. According to the national identification file for wild animals kept in captivity, no less than 800 animals, including 450 large cats, are distributed among the 120 traveling circuses in France. In ricochet, however, the text hits “more than 5,000 animals” by integrating livestock species (horses, etc.), William Kerwich specifies.
In September 2020, the Minister of Ecological Transformation had announced the “gradual cessation” of wildlife in circuses during a press conference devoted to “the welfare of captured wildlife”. At the time, the minister assured that she was aware that these decisions were “tough for the professionals concerned”. “For traveling circuses, we talk more about a retraining. We want traveling circuses to survive, but to reinvent themselves around what is called circus art, “the minister said, indicating that an” envelope of around eight million euros was planned “to help these transformations” …
A text “sometimes dogmatic to be media”
At the same time, Cyrille Emery, General Delegate of the Association for the Defense of Family Circus, assured him that the end of the presentation of wild animals in circuses would face “technical, economic and regulatory obstacles. And that will never be possible without agreements with French circus “. A Cyrille Emery joined today by Sophie Primas, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. The latter reiterated on Thursday professionals’ anger at a text drafted” without and sometimes against “them. A text” sometimes dogmatic for to be media-friendly, ”she tackled.
Above all, the eight million euros that the Pompili team has promised, according to William Kerwich, will only be given in case of “separation of the animal from its circus”. But for the next seven years, seven years, circuses can still keep animals without using them in their shows. [donc sans en tirer de revenus], What will happen ? “How are we going to feed our animals for seven years and at the same time start a retraining, it is impossible”, loose William Kerwich.
Especially because the last few months have already been difficult financially. Many municipalities have “issued orders to refuse to host circuses with animals, even domestic animals”, as the law has been under discussion, emphasizes the chairman of the association of circus and show animal capacity owners. “And all the Christmas shows were canceled yesterday, allegedly because of the fifth wave of coronavirus,” he laments, pointing to a “defamatory title.” According to Peta, the Association for the Defense of Animals, there are actually more than 400 municipalities, including large cities like Strasbourg, which are against the installation of circuses with trained animals. This without counting that the circuses since the first confinement have only been accompanied “for sixty days, up to two euros per animal”, the circus man still assures.
“French veterinarians oppose euthanasia”
So what to do? Choose the option of zoos, shelters? The problem with these animals is that they were all born in captivity from monitored breeding channels. Vaccinated, healthy carriers of certain diseases, they have no right to join their wild genera in freedom, with the risk of definitively eradicating the species. And a tiger in captivity with a life expectancy of twenty-five years, the question of the future arises seriously beyond the seven-year period, knowing that “French veterinarians are opposed to euthanasia,” explains William Kerwich.
The latter also believes that the eight million euro envelope is “a prize for giving up”. And to cite the example of dolphins from Parc Astérix “sent to the United Arab Emirates in smaller basins”. “Nothing is planned about the fate of these animals. No doubt we will have to bring 500 animals to the farm to the Ministry of Ecological Transformation and leave them with them? Should they be killed, which would be a shame? Should we keep them without being able to involve them in the shows? And by what financial means? “Asks Cyrille Emery about his part.
HAVE 20 minutes, the general delegate of the Association for the Defense of the Family Circus assured that the law on animal cruelty did not concern the circus “as they do not mistreat animals”. “Our circus will continue for the next seven years to present non-pets to the public. And afterwards, they will continue to present pets. [chevaux, chiens, dromadaires, etc.] “says Cyrille Emery, emphasizing that traditional circuses (with animals) gather 13 million spectators each year, compared to one million for contemporary circuses.