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France in focus

Animal welfare: France at the bottom of the class

By: Jeanne LAVENANT | Nadia CHARBIT | Joanna COCKERELL | Agnès LE COSSEC | Stéphane BERNSTEIN | Julia GUGGENHEIM
2 min

In France, there is no legal framework to truly protect animals. In fact, until 2015, animals had the same legal status as "moveable property" - in other words, furniture! In this edition we're taking a closer look at the issue of animal welfare in France.

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While authorities are slow to catch up with France’s European neighbours on the issue of animal rights, a number of NGOs and campaign groups have staged increasingly high-profile actions. One of them, L214, made headlines with graphic videos showing the reality of French slaughterhouses.

Also, getting up close to exotic animals has long been a popular pastime, whether in zoos or at the circus. But in recent months a spate of incidents has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons: with animals breaking away from their keepers, and ending up shot dead after high-profile pursuits. Boycott calls quickly followed, regulations have been somewhat tightened, and slowly both circuses and zoos are coming round to the idea of reviewing their use of animals as a form of entertainment.

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