France updates animal welfare legislation

Yvonne O'Halloran

New legislation has been voted in favor by the French parliament. This new law would ensure protection for wild animals that are used in circuses, performing acts, and on mink farms. 

Both houses of parliament have agreed on this legislation, now the only person left to sign off is the President, Emmanuel Macron. Macron says that this is a “historic step” for the rights of animals, so its passing looks promising. 

The (hopefully) soon-to-be law will ban the use of wild animals – elephants, bears, lions, and tigers – in circuses by 2024. Implementing this as law will most likely be more difficult than expected, given that there are about 120 circus owners that reside in France currently. 

The new law would extend to more venues than circuses alone. Animals used in TV shows, private parties, nightclubs, live dolphin shows, and mink farming will all be outlawed. Within seven years of the law passing, owning any wild animals will be considered illegal. The fine for this and animal abuse will be five years in prison and a $85,000/€75,000 fine. 

Although this is a huge step in the right direction, many say that an immense amount of work is still to be done. This law would not protect animals from being used in the meat and dairy industry, or birds that are used to prepare a famous dish in France, foie gras.

Article written by Kristin Mattia- United States

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