Animals. What contains (and what forgets) the bill on animal abuse

After many months of discussions, the debates are coming to an end: the Parliament definitively approved this Thursday, through a final vote in the Senate, the bill against animal abuse. A text that aims to “strengthen the link between animals and men”, in line with animal legislation since 1850.

In the National Assembly, which voted in favor of the text on Tuesday, the majority of LaREM-Agir boasts of a new “historic stage in the fight for the animal cause”, in unison with the protection associations. For good reason, this text contains many advances.

Many measures for pets

The range of measures is aimed primarily at pets, “neither toys nor consumables”, recalls Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie. One in two French people owns one, but each year around 100,000 animals are abandoned. To avoid impulse purchases, a “certificate of commitment and knowledge” will be issued before any purchase.

The sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores will also be prohibited from January 1, 2024. The display of animals in shop windows will no longer be permitted. The sale of animals online will be better regulated.

In terms of strengthening criminal sanctions, the act of deliberately killing a pet will be an offense and will no longer be a simple offense, which can be punished with five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros in case of death of the animal. animal.

People convicted of ill-treatment will have to follow an awareness course. Those who are prohibited from owning an animal will be entered on the wanted persons register.

Gradual end of wild animals in circuses and dolphins

Also on the menu of this vast law: the gradual banning of wild animals in the 120 traveling circuses that currently exist in France. It will be forbidden to present them to the public within two years, and keep them within seven years. “The government will be there to support these professionals” for their recycling and animal care solutions, replied Secretary of State for Biodiversity Bérangère Abba.

800 wild animals, including 450 big cats, are used today in traveling circuses in France

In addition, the text also provides for a ban on the keeping and breeding of cetaceans in dolphinariums within a period of five years. In France, there are now 21 dolphins and 4 orcas in captivity.

Note that it will also be prohibited to show wild animals in nightclubs or to show such animals on television outside of a breeding environment or zoo.

End of creating mink for their fur

Finally, the bill provides for the closure of the last French creation of American mink for their fur. The establishment is located in La Chapelle-d’Andaine, in Orne (Normandy), and has 14,000 animals.

Hunting, breeding, bullfighting… Tension matters excluded from the law

Despite these remarkable advances, several elected officials and associations regret that the bill does not propose any improvement in relation to intensively farmed animals or does not provide anything about hunting. The text does not attack “the mistreatment of animals as a whole”, punished MPs Olivier Falorni (Liberties and territories) and Bastien Lachaud (LFI), according to which hunting in particular “will have been particularly flattered” during this five-year period. Hunting with dogs, traditional hunting, underground venery… Techniques increasingly criticized by public opinion are in fact absent from the bill.

The Animalist Party candidate in the presidential elections, Hélène Thouy, also lamented on Tuesday the lack of ambition of the text, believing that “livestock and hunting are the great forgotten”.

But the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes Loïc Dombreval, rapporteur of the project to the Assembly, wants to be optimistic for the future. “The day will inevitably come when, in this Chamber, we will be able to debate sensitive issues, such as certain hunting practices, such as bullfighting, like certain breeding practices”, he promises.

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