France announces ban on use of wild animals in circuses, marine parks
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France will phase out the use of animals in traveling circuses and orcas and dolphins in marine parks, the country’s environment minister announced Tuesday.

Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili said during a news conference that a ban on animals like tigers, lions and elephants in circuses will take effect in “coming years,” according to The Associated Press. A separate ban on breeding or bringing in dolphins or killer whales to France’s three marine parks will take effect immediately. The government will begin implementing the circus regulation “as soon as possible,” she said.

“That transition will be spread over several years, because it will change the lives of many people,” she said. She pledged that the government would find solutions for animals currently in captivity “on a case-by-case basis.”

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The use of wild animals in permanent exhibitions and zoos will remain permitted under the law. The government will spend the equivalent of $9.2 million to find new jobs for people employed by circuses and marine parks, according to the AP.

“It is time to open a new era in our relationship with these animals,” Pompili said.

French officials will also end the practice of farming minks for their fur within the next five years, she said.

Code Animal, a French animal rights group, called the announcement “the culmination of 15 years of work.”