A French man has won custody of a black terrier named Poupette (Dolly) following a legal battle with his ex-girlfriend who asked a court to award her the dog after their break-up.

"/> A French man has won custody of a black terrier named Poupette (Dolly) following a legal battle with his ex-girlfriend who asked a court to award her the dog after their break-up.

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OFFBEAT

Custody battle over dog between former lovers

A French man has won custody of a black terrier named Poupette (Dolly) following a legal battle with his ex-girlfriend who asked a court to award her the dog after their break-up.

Custody battle over dog between former lovers
InspireKelly

The man’s lawyer, Isabelle Terrin, said Wednesday that a judge near the southern city of Marseille had ruled that Poupette could be considered property and the man’s previous possession of the dog entitled him to remain her owner.

The girlfriend, identified by the court as Edith, had given the dog to the man, identified as Jean-Marie, as a puppy during their relationship. When they split up 15 months later she insisted he return the dog and went to court.

Terrin said she had argued that under French property laws Jean-Marie was entitled to keep Poupette since the dog has always stayed with him and he and his girlfriend had never lived together.

The judge concluded that Jean-Marie “took perfect care of the animal,” Terrin said, adding that her client was “relieved” by the ruling.

“The animal’s best interests were taken into account and that is for the best,” she said.

Edith was also ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend’s court costs.

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TOURISM

France’s Asterix park to shut down dolphin show

A major amusement park in northern France said on Monday it would close its dolphin and sea lion aquarium, the day before lawmakers start to debate new animal welfare rules.

France's Asterix park to shut down dolphin show
France has long discussed imposing stricter rules on using wild animals in amusement parks. Illustration photo: AFP

The dolphin shows are a popular attraction at Parc Asterix, which normally has some two million visitors a year, but have long been a target of animal rights activists.

“We've been thinking about this for several years,” the park's managing director Nicolas Kremer told Le Parisien newspaper, saying the site wanted to focus instead on rides and other shows.

He said the dolphins would be transferred to other aquariums in Europe in the next two months, adding: “Reintroduction in a natural environment is not possible for these animals raised in captivity.”

A ban on captive breeding of dolphins and other marine mammals as well as their use in shows is a key part of the draft law, with the debate due to begin on Tuesday.

A previous effort to outlaw the practices by decree in 2017 was thrown out by the Council of State, France's highest administrative court, but animal rights group have kept up pressure for the ban.

“These associations think that captivity is abuse, but I can tell you that we have always ensured the wellbeing of our animals,” Kremer said.

The park, based on the beloved Asterix the Gaul comics, is hoping to reopen for the busy summer season on April 3rd if coronavirus restrictions are lifted by then.

READ ALSO: Disneyland Paris to begin 'phased reopening' in July

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