Wild animals in the traveling circus share deputies and senators

On Thursday, September 30, the Senate examined and voted the bill against animal cruelty of January 29, 2021. Several measures eagerly awaited by defenders of the animal cause are undergoing major changes. Among them, keeping wild animals in circuses is the main point of contention. Deputies do not intend to give up the introductory text while the Tjerkasses defend themselves.

wild animal circus
The presence of wild animals in circuses is a point of disagreement between senators and deputies in connection with the proposed law against animal cruelty. // PHOTO: Norenko Andrey / Shutterstock

Between the National Assembly and the Senate, decisions go upside down. The end to the exploitation of wild animals in circuses was one of the key measures in the bill against animal cruelty, tabled by MEPs Loïc Dombreval, Laëtitia Romeiro Dias and Dimitri Hourbon. Senators, however, fear “a reduction in animal welfare” as highlighted in the Legislative Report by Senator Anne Chain-Larché (LR). Like dolphinariums, the closure of circuses with wildlife would only be effective if “the existence of a breach is proven and that we are able to do it better”. The senators also specify “take into account” the reception capacity of a sanctuary or a place of refuge “. A decision contested by deputies and animal associations.

Also read: In the Senate, the scope of the text against animal cruelty is declining

Do not go back

“We have a guideline, we will not abandon these measures under any circumstancesdeclares Deputy Aurore Bergé, Vice President of La République en Marche (LREM) at Natura Sciences. We fought for an ambitious law, we can not lag behind in all European countries “. Also with regard to the changes that have been made regarding the exploitation of wild animals in the circus, the MP confirms that practice has nevertheless evolved. “The circus must reinvent itself. A wild animal must not be a distraction for the public “. It confirms that the state “Will provide financial support to institutions if the rules of the game must be changed ”. Awaiting the return of the text to the National Assembly, Aurore Bergé and Loïc Dombreval confirm the existence of scientific studies proving the physiognomic needs of animals.

These scientific studies, Cyrille Emerey, General Delegate of the Association for the Defense of Family Circus, disputes them. “I challenge people who rely on scientific research to justify abusehe exclaims. Animals in circuses were not caught abroad, they live with us from generation to generation “. He claims that the species present in these shows show “happy behavior”. At the same time, he condemns the images that animal associations convey “Most of them are lies. The videos shared on the internet show circuses from Russia or Hungary, all except France. Some show bears on bicycles, but there are no bears in French circuses.”

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Cyrille Emerey insists on the difference between wild and domestic animals, and recalls that the dromedary is considered a domestic animal. He also insists on the place of circus with animals in rural areas. “We are going to kill the profession. It is financially proven that animal circus attracts more customers”. Cyrille Emerey says he is aware of Parliament’s next resolutions and he remains satisfied with the Senate’s proposal. “I thank Anne Chain-Larché for visiting the circus as the others did not have this idea”. The delegate general quotes in particular Deputy Loïc Dombreval. According to him, he would have rejected the invitation of Solovich Dumas, general secretary of the association.

The most anticipated measure for defenders of the animal cause

According to people interviewed by Natura Sciences, including Hélène Thouy, presidential candidate for the Animal Party, the ban on wildlife in circuses remains one of the most anticipated initiatives. “This is one of the initiatives that the citizens have mobilized for a long time.The witness testifies. Even spectators realize what training these animals in prison entails. “. To condemn one “Circassian pressure” on the senators, she rates this measure as one “symbol” of the bill voted in the National Assembly on January 29 just like Iris Douzet. “Circuses that exhibit wild animals must take responsibilitysupports the PETA spokesman. It is really urgent to make the bill work. “.

Alpes-Maritimes’ deputy, Loïc Dombreval, meanwhile, expressed to Natura Sciences his incomprehension of this deletion. “I do not understand this view. This proves that they did not understand the effort”he summed up. He claims that there is no data on the success of these animal shows, he maintains “Young people are the first to stop going to the circus”. According to an IFOP survey, and passed on by the 30 Million Friends Foundation, 72% of French people are in favor of banning wild animals in circuses. From now on, and in light of the upcoming presidential election, animal capture can become an election topic. The debates continue.

Sophie Cayuela

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