Circuses in France beat bans but still face refusal

Circuses with performing wild animals are celebrating after bans on their shows in dozens of communes across France were overturned.

28 August 2019
By Connexion journalist

However they still face issues.

The Collectif des Cirques which campaigns to keep traditional circuses alive took 78 of around 350 communes that banned such circuses to court and says it won every case.

“Forbidding circuses with animals kept legally is illegal and against civil liberties”, said Collectif spokesman Cyrille Emery. “If this continues we will start proceedings in the criminal courts.”

Several communes lost on the grounds that a mayor cannot ban an economic activity just because it goes against their personal convictions.

A spokesman for the mairie of Villerupt in Meurthe-et-Moselle, Grand Est, one of the communes whose ban was overturned, said it could still refuse circuses.

He told Connexion that the commune could not provide a site big enough to comply with laws governing the space that must be given for the well-being of performing wild animals.

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