France approved this Thursday a bill to “fight animal abuse” that prohibits the sale of young dogs and cats in pet shops and the progressive presence of wild animals in circuses.
Pets are not “neither toys, nor goods, nor consumer products”, according to Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie, who on Twitter celebrated “an important advance” in the fight against the abandonment of these animals.
One Frenchman in two owns a pet, but about 100,000 are abandoned each year. The proposal approved this Thursday by the Senate, after the approval of Parliament, thus toughens the penalties for mistreatment or abandonment.
The act of voluntarily killing a pet will be considered a crime and not a simple offense. Those convicted of ill-treatment must attend an awareness course.
To avoid impulsive purchases, future animal owners must obtain a “certificate of commitment and knowledge”.
The sale of kittens of dogs and cats in pet stores will be prohibited as of January 1, 2024. These will no longer be able to be displayed in shop windows and their online sale will be better regulated.
The main stumbling block of the text, negotiated for almost a year between the two chambers, was the future of the 1,000 wild animals present in the 120 traveling circuses, which will no longer be able to exhibit them in two years or possess them in seven.
In the case of dolphinariums in France which have 21 dolphins and four killer whales, they will no longer be able to possess these cetaceans within five years.
“This is an arbitrary law, since there is no animal abuse in our circuses,” William Kerwich, president of the sector union, told AFP, who announced a “mobilization” as of Monday.
However, for the Animalista Party, environmentalists and some leftist formations, the law does not go far enough to fight against animal abuse as a whole.
“Much remains to be done, especially against factory farming,” lamented environmental senator Daniel Salmon. The radical left MP Bastien Lachaud for his part pointed to the hunt, since it has been “pampered”.
“The day will inevitably come when (…) we will be able to discuss sensitive issues, such as certain hunting practices, such as bullfights or certain livestock practices,” said Loïc Dombreval, rapporteur for the text in Parliament and a member of the party, on Tuesday. ruler.