The majority had made a battle horse, in tune with the concerns of society: the Parliament has adopted definitively this Thursday, November 18, via a final vote of the Senate, a bill against animal abuse.
On the menu of this vast text, the progressive prohibition of wild animals in circuses and dolphinariums, the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops prohibited and tougher penalties for abuse or abandonment.
The aim is to « strengthen the link between animals and humans », in line with legislation on animals since 1850.
The majority LREM-Agir, which has ardently pushed these provisions, praises a new « historic step in the fight for the animal cause, » in unison with protection associations. The Animalist Party also applauds, even if it would have liked to go further.
This quasi-unanimity, also expected in the Senate on Thursday morning, was obtained by setting aside several issues of contention. The bill does not address « animal abuse as a whole », have criticized the deputies Olivier Falorni (Liberties and Territories) and Bastien Lachaud (LFI), according to which hunting in particular « will have been particularly cajoled » during this five-year term.
« Will inevitably come the day when, in this hemicycle, we will know how to debate sensitive issues, such as certain hunting practices, such as bullfighting, such as certain practices of intensive breeding, » wants to believe Mr. Dombreval.
No « sterile bans »
His text has been in Parliament for almost a year and has been agreed upon by both houses.
For the rapporteur in the Senate, Anne Chain-Larché (LR), it is « truly balanced », bringing French legislation « up to date », « without distancing humans from animals, nor accumulating sterile bans ».
The range of measures is aimed first of all at pets, « neither toys nor consumable goods », recalls the Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie. One Frenchman in two owns one, but every year, some 100,000 animals are abandoned.
To avoid impulsive purchases, a « certificate of commitment and knowledge » will be issued before any acquisition.
The sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops will be forbidden from January 1st 2024. The presentation of animals in shop windows will no longer be permitted. The sale of animals online will be better supervised.
As for the reinforcement of penal sanctions, the fact of voluntarily killing a pet will be an offence and no longer a simple contravention. People convicted of mistreatment will have to follow an awareness training course. Those who are forbidden to keep an animal will be registered in the wanted persons file.
No more wild animals in circuses
The main bone of contention at the outset was the fate of the thousand or so wild animals in the 120 circuses currently in operation. It will be forbidden to present them to the public within two years, and to keep them within seven years.
« How are we going to feed our animals for seven years and at the same time engage in a conversion, it’s impossible, » retorts William Kerwich, president of the union of circus and show animals.
« It is an arbitrary law because there is no animal abuse in our circuses, » he said to AFP, promising a « mobilization » of the profession Monday.
The detention of cetaceans in dolphinariums – 21 dolphins and 4 orcas in France – will be excluded within five years.
« The government will be at the rendezvous to accompany these professionals » for their retraining and solutions for the animals, promised the Secretary of State for Biodiversity Bérangère Abba.
The deputy LREM Aurore Bergé recalled that it was not a law of « defiance », condemning « the threats sometimes suffered by some parliamentarians » for their votes.