A LONG-RUNNING live bird market in the heart of Paris will be shut down following accusations of cruelty and illegal wildlife trafficking.
Paris City Council has announced plans to gradually close down a large live bird market held every Sunday in Place Louis Lepin – to the joy of animal activists and the sorrow of some locals.
The market featured thousands of birds, some of them of rare breeds, and has faced long accusations of being a centre for France’s illegal wildlife trade that activists say subjects animals to severe cruelty and mistreatment. Only a handful of traders will be permitted to continue their operations as the capital plans for the entire market to end within two years.
While the move has been welcomed by activists and lawmakers, some locals have been quoted by local media as saying they will miss the colourful market – which they say was emblematic of the French capital’s eccentric charms. Other critics claim that the closure of the market will push the wildlife black market further underground, posing a greater threat of cruelty to animals.
The closure comes as France launched a broader, nationwide crackdown on animal cruelty. Parc Asterix, a popular dolphin and sea life aquarium in the suburbs of Paris, will also face closure soon. The capital’s government, led by Cadiz-born mayor and Presidential hopeful Anne Hidalgo, has called on the national government to ban the sales of kittens and puppies aged under six months from the country’s pet shops by 2022.
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