Animals in circuses in France - AN UPDATE - July 2018

I am posting a link to an article about this because it is an issue I feel very strongly about. Wild animals belong in the wild not in circuses or zoos. This is a view now held by many countries around the world who have banned the use of animals in circuses, countries such as Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Israel, Bosnia, Croatia and many many others. Just recently India, Italy and Ireland announced they would be banning wild animals in circuses.

Surely there can be no place in civilised society for the cruelty inflicted on circus animals who are confined in tiny cages and subjected to barbaric training methods to force them to perform unnatural acts for our “entertainment”. There are already many towns and villages around France who no longer welcome circuses with wild animals and I hope this will one day be followed by a complete ban throughout France.


Hello Wendy

I so agree that wild animals should not be in circuses, what torment they must go through with all that travelling and being coerced into performing day after day. I have only ever visited a circus once and that was when I was a little girl and my parents took me. I hated it !

I don’t know if you have ever visited Beauval Zoo, they have breed some endangered species and have returned some of these to the wild. I have visited Beauval many times and have watched many excellent “behind the scenes” documentaries about it. It was founded and is run by the Delord family who are passionate about animals, the place is well thought out with every care given to the welfare of their animals. It really is a world away from the ‘traditional’ zoos where animals are kept in cages and look so bored and miserable.

Here is a link to the site, I hope to visit again next year to see the new Terre des Lions and La réserve des Hippopotames.

The circus was “in town” locally when we were there this summer - big cats in really very small cages in the car park looking sad and dejected. Both my wife and I commented that this seems unacceptable in the 21st century. The incident in Paris highlights the dangers but there are so many other issues. Yes, France needs to ban this practice.


Zoos exist for the benefit of the owners not the animals. Most zoos are horrible, desperate places for wild animals to be living. They exist to make a profit from exhibiting animals and try to justify that by saying they are conserving endangered species. Even a good zoo like the one you describe is not the correct environment for a wild animal. Some examples: most big cats live in tropical or sub-tropical climates, they shouldn’t be exposed to the harsh winter climate of Northern France. Tigers are solitary creatures that are forced to live in groups and confined to unnaturally small enclosures. No zoo can supply the space required by the average female tiger to live a natural life, their range is anything up to 84 km. I could go on.

I’m not sure that re-introducing a few animals to the wild really justifies the unnatural confinement of thousands of others. Wildlife conservation is best achieved by protecting these species in their natural habitat.

I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one!


If you wish to sign a petition to ban animals in circuses here’s a link.

I think your last sentence is correct.

Cracks me up. Everyday, millions of animals get chucked in cages, jammed into huts, jammed into trucks, kicked around, bashed about, watch their companions get slaughtered before getting slaughtered themselves, and we whinge about animals in circuses. They are all just meat.

Well, no-one ever accused humans of being consistent in their actions and views. :slight_smile:

But, although animals bred for meat are not going to die of old age we do not need to be unnesessarily cruel to them during their lives. We sometimes are, of course, especially if providing decent conditions eats into profit but I think that it is wrong to keep animals in bad conditions just because we are going to eat them and it diminishes us as a species when we do.

However circus animals are not being bred for the table, they will live longer than animals which are and larger animals (big cats, elephants and to a lesser extent horses) are often kept in conditions which are far from ideal, cramped and which lead to obvious ill health (especially stereotyped behaviour in large carnivores whhich is recognised as an indicator of stress). In the 21st century, in many parts of the world these practices are banned and I think France should catch up.

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We treat each other badly, why should we be expected to treat animals, fish or birds any differently. I don’t eat red meat, don’t condone animals in circuses, don’t approve of zoo’s unless the zoo is part of a breeding plan where animals are released back into the wild.
When it comes to animal husbandry my experience has been exactly the same as in day to day life, there are people who have a modicum of respect and there are people who have no respect whatsoever.

You are right - we shouldn’t treat animals, fish or birds differently to humans (well, we tend to frown on eating humans but you get the point). We should treat other humans with respect and treat the other living things with whom we share the planet with respect also. That is not incompatible with farming them for meat.

Two wrongs here do not make a right and as far as I am concerned if you admit to doing one amoral thing it does not make it OK to do some other amoral thing as well.


I am so happy to see this news. At last the use of wild animals will be banned in England as well as Scotland (already banned) and Wales (will be banned soon).

I sincerely hope that the French government will see what is happening in neighbouring countries and around the world and introduce a ban as well. It sickens me to see caged wild animals in supermarket car parks and the less ferocious tied up on grass verges or in barren pens. It’s time this barbaric practice is ended for good.


This is fabulous news. I hope Maya will be able to live with other elephants in her new home as they are not naturally solitary and suffer greatly from being alone. However, a safari park, although not perfect, must be heaven for this poor animal after what she has suffered for so many years.