The debate was to last two days, finally the senators present in the sparse hemicycle this Thursday, September 30 were able to finalize the adoption of the text, and its 15 articles, a little before midnight. During this marathon day, the senators managed in a few hours to weaken the ambitious bill adopted by the National Assembly at the end of January , already strongly affected by the Senate committee last week.
Where the Senate steps back on the text adopted by the National Assembly :
- Ban on the sale of pets in animal shops from 2024: The senators are opposed to it, they propose not to display the animals in the window and to introduce a cooling-off period of 7 days between the purchase and the recovery of the 'animal.
- Obligation to sterilize stray cats (responsibility of the mayor) in a process of animal protection, public health and defense of biodiversity: the senators cancel this provision!
- Prohibition to present wild animals in traveling circuses (5 years after the promulgation of the law) but also bear and wolf showmen ... The Senate reconsiders these prohibitions and returns the ball to the government which will have to issue decrees specifying the target species. The ban would not be fixed by law but at the goodwill of the Minister and after the opinion of a commission that will have to be created and which already looks like a gas factory ...
- Prohibition to hold cetaceans in captivity (within 7 years for dolphins, 2 years for orcas), the Senate is opposed to this measure!
Status quo between the two chambers :
- Ban on carousels and pony rides at fairs, the Senate maintains the ban.
- Reinforcement of penalties for acts of cruelty: the penalty of 2 years 'imprisonment and a fine of € 30,000 is replaced by a penalty of three years' imprisonment and € 45,000 (5 years and a fine of € 75,000 if the facts led to the death of the animal), the Senate maintains the measure.
The main advances adopted by the senators :
- The Senate introduces an exemption from VAT on veterinary acts of animals collected by associations and foundations, whether or not they have a refuge.
- Prohibition of the breeding of mink and other animals raised specifically for their fur, the Senate adopts an immediate ban and not 2 years as adopted by the NA.
For Christophe Marie, spokesperson for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation: “We cannot be satisfied with this vote which betrays both the spirit of the text adopted by the National Assembly, and the commitments of Barbara Pompili. The joint committee will have to restore the ambition of the initial proposal so that France can finally catch up with the other EU member states. This bill is the most ambitious debated in Parliament on the animal condition. An exceptional appointment which should not be a missed appointment, especially since this subject supported by a majority of French people will be an issue of the next electoral deadlines. "