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Paris vows to ban use of wild animals in circuses

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Paris vows to ban use of wild animals in circuses
AFP
08:44 CET+01:00
Authorities in the French capital have pledged to ban the use of wild animals in circuses following the recent shocking incident when a tiger which had escaped from a Paris circus had to be shot and killed by its owner.

The city of Paris on Wednesday pledged to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, in a move welcomed as a "small step forward" by animal welfare experts.

Criticism has grown in France of the inclusion of exotic animals in some circus shows, and 65 municipalities have already banned them.

City lawmakers voted Wednesday to support a motion proposed by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo saying they were "unanimously committed to a city without wild animals in circuses."

But they didn't set a deadline and left the final decision on any ban to the government.

The French state has yet to proscribe wild animals in circuses, a practice that is already outlawed in 19 other European countries.

The welfare debate resurfaced last November when a tiger that escaped from a Paris circus was shot and killed by its owner.

The incident shocked the public and animal rights groups increased pressure on French authorities to ban circuses from using wild animals in their shows.

"What happened could have resulted in far more serious consequences," Christophe Marie, spokesperson for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation told The Local.
 
France under pressure to ban circus animals after killing of tiger in Paris
 
 
"These animals aren't getting what they need. They're depressed because they are trapped in tight spaces and forced to do the same movements every day."
 
"We are already seeing a change in society -- people are starting to question the relationship between humans and animals. France must respond in the same way as other countries and ban animals from circuses altogether."
 
Ecologist Jacques Boutault said: "Wild animals in circuses are not well treated. They are exploited for fun and this is hitting home to more and more Parisians," said 

He said that Wednesday's decision was "a small step forward even if it does not go far enough" as national lawmakers must vote through any eventual ban.

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