Truck loudspeaker against megaphones, slogans anti "animal exploitation" against promotion for the "show of the circus franco-belgian" … This Wednesday, the face-to-face between circus and defenders of the animal cause in the interdepartmental park of Choisy has turned to cacophony.
On the one hand, about 20 activists from the animal welfare association Paris Animaux Zoopolis – who "demand a law to end the imprisonment of animals in circuses in France" – with signs "Circuses yes, but without animals. On the other, the "boss" of the circus, Jackson Muller and his family. Between the two: children and families of the department who did not leave on vacation and who were counting on taking advantage of the opportunity to attend "for the first time, a show at the circus".
Except that instead of settling in the shade of a tent, the latter found themselves face to face with the president of the Animal Party, Isabelle Yvos, explaining that these animals, which they were preparing to see, "suffer as soon as they are locked up, and become sick".
Arm wrestling in court
The direction of the park was also part of … The side of the militants. And for good reason: she assures to have authorized the presence of the circus, from July 13 to 24, but without animals.
"From the beginning of the installation of the marquees, we could see that this was not the festival of clowns that we had authorized, but a real circus composed of many vehicles, capitals, and very many wild animals in captivity (tigers, zebras, monkeys …) ", explains its general manager, Jérôme Escribano.
Sign that the standoff is tight: the management of the park on Tuesday filed an application for summary proceedings before the Administrative Court of Melun for their expulsion. Bailiffs have been appointed, veterinarians sent on site. But the Circassians have already announced shows until Sunday, August 4 …
Jackson Muller, director of the circus, "it's just a misunderstanding." Authorities of the Ministry of the Environment to hold his animals in support, the trainer, who canceled the performances on Wednesday and Thursday "because of the heat", does not include those "activists for whom the mere fact of holding animals constitutes an act of maltreatment ".
"All born in captivity"
He assures him that he "loves these animals, takes care of them and leaves them five months a year in a big park". The professional also differentiates between "domestic animals, such as camels" and wild animals, "tigers, lions … all born in captivity" and that he knows "by heart". Joining the gesture to the word, the manager does not hesitate to go around the owner, entering unprotected in the cage with lions, refreshing them with basins of water.
Furious, he points to associations that accuse him "without qualification or competence," he says, but who have only "their morality to judge us and have only the right to report to the gendarmerie abuse if there is any need to be.
In response, he planned a demonstration this Saturday in Paris, in front of the vegan bakery held by the president of the association Paris Pets Zoopolis.