France is to ban travelling circuses from keeping large wild animals, Environment Minister Barbara Pompili has announced.
The ban would be brought in gradually and would apply to animals unsuitable for life in a travelling circus, such as hippopotamuses, monkeys, wolves or elephants, Pompili said on Tuesday.
With effect from 2022, dolphinariums will also be forbidden to keep killer whales for shows. The same ban will apply to dolphins with effect from 2027.
"Wild animals, elephants, monkeys, dolphins, or minks: It's time for a new area in our relationship with these animals," Pompili said as she announced the measures.
"It is time that our ancestral fascination with these wild creatures no longer results in situations where keeping them in captivity trumps their wellbeing," she added.
Pompili also announced a ban on farming minks for their fur with effect from 2025.
She promised aid to circuses to help them adapt their shows in line with the phasing-out of wild animals, as well as funding for zoos to improve animal welfare.
Australian Associated Press