French lawmakers on Tuesday debated an animal welfare bill that would ban using wild animals in traveling circuses and keeping dolphins and whales in captivity in marine parks, amid other restrictions.
Circus workers held a protest against the bill outside the National Assembly, saying the measure would cause circuses and jobs to vanish, if it becomes law.
“That’s death for circuses,” Royal Circus director William Kerwich told The Associated Press.
The bill, which also bans the use of wild animals in television shows, nightclubs and private parties, calls for a transition period of five to seven years depending on the location.
The wild animal ban would not apply to permanent shows or to zoos.
Anther provision of the legislation is aimed at shutting down mink farms within the next five years. The bill would also require new pet owners to obtain certificates guaranteeing they have the specific knowledge needed to care for their animals.
It would stiffen for penalty for committing abuse that leads to the death of pet animals to up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of 45,000 euros ($54,750.)
Protesting circus workers said French law is already strict enough to ensure the welfare of the animals appearing in their shows…
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