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Paris votes for end to performing animals in circuses

media A white tiger performs at the Médrano circus in Lyon last year JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

Paris city council has voted against the use of wild animals in circuses but left the actual decision to ban the practice to the government. Animal rights campaigners have hailed a "small step forward".

The city council unanimously backed a motion proposed by mayor Anne Hidalgo saying they were "unanimously committed to a city without wild animals in circuses".

But they did not order circus owners to stop using aniamls and said it was up to the government to introduce a nationwide ban.

Criticism of animals being forced to perform in circuses has increased in France and 65 local councils have banned the practice.

It has also been banned in 19 other European countries.

The question was brought to public attention in November when a tiger was shot on a Paris street after it had escaped from a circus.

Ecologist councillor Jacques Boutault said Wednesday's decision was "a small step forward even if it does not go far enough".

The city council is to meet circus proprietors to discuss what to do with their animals while limiting the threat to their livelihoods.

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