A pivotal vote recently took place in France that will ban the use of animals in live circus shows from 2023 onwards. Historically, circus performances have included tigers, lions and bears but such shows will be made illegal once the ban comes into place.
While described as “a historic step in the animal rights combat” by the Republic on the Move (LREM) party, some are questioning if the ban goes far enough as bullfighting will still be permitted under the new policy.
The policy outlines that performances are to be halted in two years, and the ownership of “circus” animals will become illegal in seven years. Other species falling under its protection include dolphins shows, as well as mink farming, which has been immediately outlawed. Performances of wild animals will be prohibited in two years and owning them outlawed in seven years.
Punishments are also being hiked up under the new legislation, with people found guilty of mistreating animals receiving a fine of €75,000 euros ($85,000) and up to five years prison time.
Some however aren’t pleased that cultural practices such as hunting and bullfighting haven’t been included, two divisive issues that are heavily defended by some parts of the country while others want them banned.
After a similar decision in Germany in 2017, the country's famous Circus Roncalli took to the stage in 2018 with impressive holograms to replace the live animals.