top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Paris votes to ban circuses with wild animals

The city of Paris council has voted to ban the authorisation of circuses that use wild animals, from the end of 2020.

The Conseil de Paris voted for the change on Friday November 15. It will mark the end of “land authorisations” given to circuses whose acts feature wild animals, and is set to come into force by the end of next year.

Pénélope Komitès, Paris secretary for city nature, said: “We can all collectively celebrate this decision, which marks a social step forward demanded by all French people.”

The measure has been the subject of discussion for two years.

Any circuses set to be affected by the rules will qualify for council support to change their shows and convert their business operations.

In response to a plea for “financial support” for circuses from MP Danielle Simonnet, Ms Komitès said: “[There will be] around €50,000 across three years”, for each circus that signs up to convert.

But the rules are not set to apply to two circuses in the capital: Bouglione and Gruss. The first owns its own land, so council legislation on “land authorisation” has no effect.

The second is already due to sign the convention banning the use of wild animals in circuses, when its current contract comes up for renewal in 2020. It will have to sign this if it wants to continue trading.

But William Kerwich, from circus Cirque Royal, said the decision was “a political game”.

He said: “Taking away animals is like taking away clowns. Eventually there will be nothing left apart from shows such as Cirque du Soleil for intellectuals and teenagers.”

The new law comes after Paris voted in December 2017 to “work towards a city without wild animals in its circuses”.

That vote came soon after a rare white tiger was killed by its circus-leader owner after allegedly escaping from its enclosure at the Bormann Moreno circus. But owner Eric Bormann said his animals were kept responsibly in good conditions, and that the tiger had been purposefully let out as “an act of malice”.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France