At least 46 cities in France have bans on acts featuring wild animals, and Paris has followed suit.
The issue of animals in circus acts has always been one of contention, and about a month ago further debate was sparked after an incident involving a tiger. It had somehow escaped into the streets of Paris and needed to be shot.
Needless to say, this wasn’t good PR.
Animal entertainment has always had a seedy history. Personally, I find the idea of taking wild animals from their families and training them to perform tricks to please a crowd… uncomfortable, to say the least. Not to mention, you never know what’s going on behind the curtains. Maybe I’m being too cynical. Maybe it’s possible to train animals in a safe and loving environment, but it does seem kind of unnecessary.
We have plenty of humans who are perfectly willing to put on a good show. Just saying, there’s a much smaller chance of them running away into the street and getting shot (touch wood).
The Green Party Mayor for the Second district of Paris, Jacques Boutault, put it a little more strongly:
“Wild animals in circuses are abused, they are exploited for entertainment purposes and Parisians don’t want this to happen anymore.”
Overall, this seems like a pretty good step forward. I bet PETA are pleased. Don’t get too excited though, Ann Hidalgo – the Mayor of Paris – has said she needs to consult with circus owners and get a final decree from the government on this issue.
Here’s hoping this means animal welfare is taken a little more seriously by people.
If you want more lighthearted stuff involving animals, you may wanna take a look at this.