zoo owner ordered to transfer wolves due to ‘unacceptable disorder’

The Tarn prefecture gave notice on Tuesday, May 10, to an animal park from which nine wolves had escaped in December, to transfer these animals to other establishments following “inadmissible disordersand public endangerment.

The Trois Vallées zoo in Montredon-Labessonnié has been closed by prefectural decision since December 22, 2021: three days before, nine wolves had escaped from their enclosure and four of them had to be killed.

“Major and inadmissible disorders”

Two species of wolves are found in the park. “The wolves of Europe must be placed within a fortnight“, specifies the prefecture in a press release, while”due to the likely presence of Cubs in the dens, Hudson Wolves will need to be placed by August 31, 2022“.

The Tarn prefecture recalls that in March, the report of a commission of specialists mentioned “major and inadmissible disorders“relating to the conditions of accommodation and care given to these canids but also of “major flaws with respect to the overriding objective of public safety“.

Responses deemed insufficient

The manager of the zoo had been invited to produce elements of response before April 19, then an additional period of seven days had still been granted to him, according to the prefecture. But the State services deemed the answers provided by the owner of the park insufficient, considering that a formal notice was necessary.

This animal park, which hosts some 600 animals of 70 species on 60 hectares, including big cats, had already been subject to an administrative closure measure on October 22, 2020, by ministerial order, due to “major breaches» endangering the safety of animals, staff and visitors.

However, the prefect’s decree had been suspended on the following November 2 by the administrative court of Toulouse, “because of the serious and manifestly illegal infringement of the right to property, freedom of enterprise and freedom of trade and industry“, for lack of a prior formal notice, according to a press release from the TA. The owner then denounced a “relentlessnessof the authorities against him.


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