The Paris city council on Wednesday agreed to close a live bird market in the historic center close to Notre Dame cathedral, responding to animal rights activists who called the market a cruel and old-fashioned operation.
“It’s big news for animal rights in Paris. We were very happy! Paris stops considering birds as goods,” Amandine Sansivens, co-founder of the animal rights organization Paris Animaux Zoopolis (PAZ), told The Animal Reader.
The bird market on Louis Lepine operated close to the famous flower market. “About 400 birds are exposed every Sunday in this market,” Sansivens said. PAZ had urged the government to close the cruel market.
Christophe Najdovski, Paris’ deputy mayor in charge of animal welfare, said that the market was a center for bird trafficking in France, and the conditions for the birds were not acceptable.
“This is why we are committed to changing the regulations to ban the sale of birds and other animals,” Najdovski said. France has been discussing a new animal welfare law that bans the use of wild animals in entertainment.
The French amusement park Parc Asterix announced last month it would close its dolphin and sea lion aquarium, but they will not send their animals to a sanctuary. Instead, the animals will be sent to other aquariums in Europe.
The bird market in Paris will not close immediately. The government plans to slowly reduce the number of birds at the market and fully close it in a couple of years when the renovation of the flower market starts, according to PAZ.