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The French National Order of Veterinarians recommends prohibiting wild mammals in circuses

A stand the National Order of Veterinarians should take responsibility for

In response to letters sent out by associations such as Paris Animaux Zoopolis and One Voice, Jacques Guérin, the president of the National Order of Veterinarians (Ordre National des Vétérinaires) has announced on the 6 June 2015 that the Order:

agrees with the [Federation of Veterinarians of Europe]’s recommendation to promote the prohibition, in European countries, of wild mammals in traveling circuses which cannot satisfy the physiological and social needs of these animals.”

Extract of their answer to One Voice on the 3 October 2017

Following the applause of numerous associations for this stand, and seeing a historical announcement of veterinarians against the use of wild animals in circuses, Ghislaine Jançon, head of the veterinarian commission and animal welfare, and member of the National Order of Veterinarians, wanted to clarify his statements in an interview for the newspaper Libération, insisting that this prohibition applies only for circuses who are unable to satisfy the needs of wild mammals.

However, on the 6 June 2015 the National Order of Veterinarians confirms supporting the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe’s (FVE) opinion, for which the Order is also a co-signer. This position recommends:

to all competent European and national authorities to ban the use of wild mammals in all European traveling circuses, given the impossibility to adequately meet their physiological, mental and social needs.”

Extract of the Veterinary Federation’s opinion taken on the 6th June 2015

The FVE is formal: under no circumstances will a circus be able to provide a suitable environment for the normal and healthy development of wild mammals. As soon as the National Order of Veterinarians agrees to this recommendation, it has to do so entirely and fully assume its stand. 

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Furthermore, there is no doubt as to the FVE’s stand against the presence of wild mammals in circuses. It declares the physiological, mental and social needs of wild animals kept in captivity remains identical to those of their wild relatives.

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe also says there is little to no educational or economic benefit for conservation or research on theses circus animals that would justify exploiting them.

Lastly, the dangers of keeping these wild animals so close were also mentioned, whether it being for the animals themselves, the circus employees or the public.

Hence, the FVE recommends circus managers to relocate the animals or euthanize them as a last resort.

According to Code Animal, there are currently 26 countries throughout the world have banned the presence of wild and domesticated animals in circuses: Belgium, Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Mexico, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Croatia, Finland, Greece, India, Israel, Latvia, Lebanon, Malta, Holland, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Guatemala, Romania whereas other countries, including Germany, Australia, the USA, Ireland, Norway and Argentina have established partial bans.

In France, 60 municipalities, including 14 with more than 20 000 inhabitants, ban circuses with animals. It is time the French Government took into account the FVE’s recommendations and finally put an end to these cruel shows.

For more information and how to act

For more information on the living conditions of wild animals in circuses, regulations and circuses using animals:

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