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US News Paris: the bird market on the verge of disappearing

23:10  29 january  2021
23:10  29 january  2021 Source:   leparisien.fr

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Discover Paris Bird Market in Paris , France: For one day a week a famed French flower district turns into an avian bazaar. The Paris Flower Market is a favorite attraction for visitors looking to see a more natural side of the beautiful city but every Sunday, when the fresh cut flower sellers take the day off, the market shifts its focus to selling birds of every stripe. While there are still a number of flowers on display, the sweet smelling displays are outnumbered by the stacks of cages filled with chirping, squeaking, flapping prisoners.

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Place Lépine (IVe). Les défenseurs de la cause animale ont manifesté ce dimanche devant le « traditionnel » marché aux oiseaux de l’île de la Cité pour réclamer la fermeture de ce marché « archaïque » © LP / Benoit Hasse Place Lépine (IVe). Defenders of animal rights demonstrated this Sunday in front of the “traditional” bird market on Île de la Cité to demand the closure of this “archaic” market

The little squawking of canaries and other parakeets on the island will soon be over of the City (4th century)? In any case, the future of the bird market which animates the area around the police headquarters every Sunday seems to be in jeopardy. At the next Paris Council which opens on Tuesday, the municipal majority of Paris should adopt a wish initiating a process of closing the site. The town hall wishes to take advantage of the next flower market renovation project to record the disappearance of the few bird merchants who set up in the halls of this site every weekend.

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We went to the bird market in Paris on Sunday morning. It was amazing to see all of the different birds and other small pets available. A definite must see

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A victory for animal defenders

For several months now, the very active Paris Animaux Zoopolis association has been putting pressure on the City to have this bird sale area “a vestige of another time” banned. These animal advocates believe that birds should not be considered a commodity. “Selecting and organizing the reproduction of animals for profit, outright negates the interests of animals,” insists PAZ.

The outraged enthusiasts

But where these defenders of the animal cause see animal trafficking and mistreatment, Issam Akrouti, the president of the Lutetian ornithological circle, replies "passion". “These activists and environmentalists present us as poachers and talk about animal abuse, but we are passionate about it. We take care of our birds, we love them. And we don't breed protected species! »Issam annoys. “Of course, we shouldn't lock wild birds in cages, but our canaries and parakeets wouldn't survive two days if we released them into the wild! », Insists this entrepreneur. “This fight is a bit like that of Parisian bobos against rurality: they want to cut man off from contact with animals. Of course, animal welfare must be protected, but if birds are often presented in small cages on the market, they live in aviaries or even roam free in apartments and their cages only serve as a "room". So after the animals, what will we ban? The cats ? Dogs ? “Asks Pierre Channoy, president of the Union Ornithologique de France.

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Sparrows and starlings are disappearing at an alarming rate in Europe. Richard Inger of the University of Exeter talks to DW about what is behind the decline and what can be done to stop it. So there are a number of things which we believe the birds do within the environment. We call these ecosystem services – which are services provided by the natural world that are beneficial to humans. For example, birds eat a lot of pests. Certain birds are really important for removing carcasses from the environment.

Gérard Outters, the head of the association of friends of the Paris bird market which brings together bird breeders, is worried about the eventual disappearance of this atypical market: "we must safeguard this picturesque heritage of the City of Paris which has existed since 1860. There is only one bird and flower market on our planet and it is in Paris! »

The majority firmly decided to suppress the market

Arguments which do not seem to be able to convince the elected representatives of the Parisian majority while the law on animal abuse is under discussion in the National Assembly. “This bird market has been in decline and dysfunction for 20 years. We met the various players and it turned out that the situation has been rife for years. Many offenses were noted and sanctioned on the spot such as the sale of protected species, sales to dubious origins… ”lists Ariel Weil, the mayor (PS) of Paris Center.

Not to mention the presence of many untitled street vendors. "Out of 13 authorized sellers less than 7 come regularly," insists the elected official. For the mayor of Paris Center, mass is said: the bird market must disappear.

"We will look at how we can support traders towards professional retraining", assures Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of greening public spaces and animal health.

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This is interesting!