French town bans animal circuses after Facebook poll

An elephant performing in a circus

Mayor put question to residents via social media

Another French town has banned circuses with wild animals.

Authorities in Béthune, Pas-de-Calais, decided not to allow travelling circuses that have animals as part of the act following an online poll of local residents. Prior to the ban, circuses would visit the town two or three times a year.

The decision follows that of Lille, which announced last month that it would no longer allow such shows in the city.

The town's mayor, Olivier Gacquerre, put the question to residents on his official Facebook page in mid-March. He told local newspaper La Voix du Nord that his poll garnered about 1,600 responses - with 83% of those who replied in favour of a ban.

Meanwhile, 88% of those who replied said that they would go to a circus in the town that did not use animals.

Almost 350 towns and cities across France have now decided to no longer welcome circuses with animals.

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