Parents force ice-dance show to drop caged lion
An ice-dance show has been forced to stop using a caged lion in its Magic on Ice after protests from parents at rehearsals.
The lion had little room to move and parents complained to Bordeaux Sports de Glace club.
It is the latest sign of anger at the use of animals, with a Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis poll showing 67% of people want a ban, as in 26 European countries. In the UK, Scotland has a ban and Wales will follow this year, then England in 2020.
Across France, more than 350 communes and cities, such as Grenoble, Lille, Montpellier and Strasbourg, have restrictions but rights group Peta said people wanted a national law “to stop circuses being a place where animals suffer, passing the vast part of their lives in cages”.
Some circuses are turning to alternatives, such as Bouglione’s éco-cirque, Roncalli’s holograms or fire-eaters at Cirque du Soleil – but animals are still a significant draw.
If bans do come into force, the animals face an uncertain fate – possibly being sold to taxi-dermists or slaughtered for meat.
Ecology Minister François de Rugy has asked a group of circus owners and rights groups to work on proposals.
Peta hailed the development of Elephant Haven in Haute-Vienne but said there was an urgent need for measures to help big cats, starting with a ban on reproduction.
Amandine Sanvisens, of rights group Paris Animaux Zoopolis, said: “The government must create sanctuaries or refuges. It does not even know how many animals are involved.”