Pet certificate, sale in pet stores… which contains the law against animal abuse

Gradual ban on wild animals in circuses and dolphinariums, sale of puppies and kittens in banned pet stores, tougher penalties for mistreatment: the bill against animal mistreatment was finally passed on Tuesday, November 16 , by the National Assembly, before the Senate, Thursday.

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On October 21, the deputies and senators meeting in a mixed commission managed to reach an agreement on a diluted version. The controversial topics of bullfighting or hunting were also dropped during a first reading last January.

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  • Creating a pet certificate

The French have over 9 million dogs, 15 million cats, a million horses. But they are also the European champions of abandonment. Article 1 of the bill provides that “Any person who transfers a pet for consideration or free of charge is insured” for the buyer to sign a “certificate of commitment and knowledge of species-specific needs”. The precise content of this certificate will be defined by decree.

The idea is to combat abandonment by providing better information about the needs and costs (food, veterinary costs, education, etc.) associated with owning a dog, cat or horse. Parental consent will be required for any purchase of a pet by a minor.

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With regard to stray cats, the State and voluntary communities will be able to articulate their actions in terms of sterilization, within the scope of agreements, on a trial basis for five years. The question of a possible sterilization obligation by the communes, initially envisaged, was a bone of contention between the Assembly and the Senate.

  • No more dogs or cats for sale in pet stores

From 2024, the sale or delivery of dogs and cats to pet shops will be prohibited. But pet shops will be able to present abandoned dogs and cats collected by associations, from which it will be possible to acquire them. It will no longer be allowed to show animals in pet shops visible from a road open to public traffic.

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In principle, the sale of pets on the internet will also be prohibited, except for breeders in specific online sections. Platforms that do not implement a prior control system can be fined €7,500.

Sending live vertebrate animals by mail will be prohibited.

  • End of wild animals in circuses and dolphins

It will be prohibited to acquire wild animals and raise them for public display in traveling circuses within two years of the enactment of the law. And it will be forbidden to keep them within seven years. About 800 wild animals are involved, including 450 big cats. Hosting solutions must be offered to their owners.

“We have to take care of this transition”warns at France Inter the deputy Loïc Dombreval, the great author of the text, with financial, economic, social and cultural recycling support for circus enthusiasts who wish to do so. »

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The proposed law also prohibits the display of animals at private parties and nightclubs. The presentation of wild animals on television will be prohibited, except in zoos and farms. Bear and wolf trainers will no longer be able to display these species during traveling shows.

Within five years, it will no longer be allowed to keep and breed cetaceans in captivity, as well as their participation in shows. Two establishments (Planète Sauvage, Marineland) have a total of 21 dolphins and 4 orcas in France.

In addition, pony rides will be prohibited.

  • Closing of the last mink farm

The last American mink farm will be closed immediately. The French fur federation denounces a political use of the health crisis, after the 2020 slaughter of animals from a farm affected by Covid-19, while the remaining farm is “healthy and regularly checked”. the sector “invites parliamentarians to take the Constitutional Council”.

The sequel after the announcement

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The text toughens penalties for mistreatment, up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros in case of death of the animal. The fact, publicly or not, of practicing serious abuse, or of a sexual nature, or of practicing an act of cruelty against a domestic or domestic animal, is henceforth punished with three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros. Recording images will also be sanctioned.

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The practice of these acts in the presence of a minor, or being the owner or guardian of the animal, will be an aggravating circumstance. There are also a number of penalties for “intentional interference with the life of an animal”and an aggravated penalty for abandonment in case of immediate risk of death.

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