In the zoo a space (still) protected by law against animal cruelty

Associations fighting for animal welfare regret that they have been forgotten by government measures and the text that was finally adopted on Thursday in the Senate. Report at the Paris Zoo and at the Menagerie in the Jardin des Plantes.

“They seem to be treated well here.” Sitting on the steps of the sea lion basin, Céline observes the ballet of these mammals in wonder. Since at At 11:00, Brestoise, accompanied by her children, has crossed the fourteen hectares of the Paris Zoo. “The children absolutely wanted to come to the zoo. I ordered the tickets in early September ”, explains the mother passing Paris.

Under the fire of critics, the zoo remains a favorite destination for families, much to Amandine Sanvisen’s annoyance. “I feel like they are in prison when I look at them. For mammals, the enclosures do not represent their natural environments, they are often too small.” apologizes to the co-founder of Paris Animals Zoopolis (PAZ) in front of the snow leopard enclosure at the Menagerie in the Jardin des Plantes. This association fights for animals to no longer be imprisoned, exhibited or killed for entertainment and leisure. For, at least, she claims to create a more just world, where animals will live in peace, by our side.

The association has just achieved an initial victory with the final adoption in the Senate of the bill on animal protection. This clearly prescribes a gradual ban on wildlife in circuses and dolphinariums, but also the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores and increased penalties for abuse or neglect. its goal? Strengthen the link between animals and humans in line with animal law since 1850. A law that does not include sections on zoos.

The day after the adoption by 332 votes to one, with 10 abstentions, Hélène Thouy, presidential candidate for the Beast Party, will pass the law. “insufficient”. “80% of wild animals live confined in buildings or in cages that are barely larger than an A4 side of chickens”she said on Friday 19 November at the microphone in Europe 1.

In the corridors of the oldest zoo in Europe, anti-speciesist Amandine Sanvisen points the finger at every unsuitable installation. “In these 19th-century aviaries, owls can not even fly. Orangutans are restricted to playing with plastic bottles, and flamingos have been maimed so they can no longer fly. It’s awful,” throws Amandine Sanvisen under her mask.

Criticism ignored by management “We have increased the size of the enclosures, such as the gaur (wild cattle) at the menagerie and the big cats, when Paris’ zoo reopened in 2014. Our choice has been thought out in relation to the well – being of the animal, it is primordial. “

Faced with this “anti-zoo” discourse, some visitors remember the benefits of these parks. “These places allow the conservation of species, it is a good thing for biodiversity “, says Jacques, 70, facing the lemur enclosure. An argument refuted by Amandine Sanvisen. “60% of the species in zoos are not threatened with extinction. On the other hand, endangered animals are locked up for free right after destroying their natural habitat, and this for the benefit of the eyes. I call it double. jeopardy. she moans.

Inside the tropical greenhouse, opinions are more nuanced. While Amélia, 7, sticks her nose in the windows to try to see Manatee, her mother Clémentine wonders about the treatment of animals: “I’m coming for my daughter, but it’s true that I have questions about the treatment of animals. Especially for big cats that need space. ”

To improve the quality of life for animals in zoos, the Ministry of Ecological Transformation is planning better supervision. In collaboration with animal welfare associations and zoos, the government wants to introduce new standards such as “taking into account the temperature of the plant or basin, the multiplication of shaded areas and the obligatory enrichment of the plant”. Unused measures are currently regretted by Alexandra Morette, president of the Code Animals Association. Before concluding: “These are just words, nothing has been concretely put into practice for animal welfare in these spaces.”

Cinema, theater, music … The student journalists inIPJ, the practical institute of journalism at the Paris Dauphine University give their views on current cultural events. IPJ Dauphine

Also see – Kylian Mbappé and Zhang Jiaqi christen the little pandas at the Zoo de Beauval

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