French animal rights activists are complaining about the Moulin Rouge in Paris for using live non-aquatic snakes submerged in water on the stage of the iconic cabaret theatre. Every day the Moulin Rouge includes a sequence with a dancer playing with large pythons in a pool of water, which in addition to being forcibly exploited such an environment would cause distress to the animals. In December 2022, animal rights activists protested outside the theatre.

Amandine Sanvisens, the co-founder of the Paris Animaux Zoopolis (PAZ), the animal protection group which created a petition against the act, said to France 24, “The snakes have no business being there…Throughout the scene, the snake is trying to keep its head out of the water. This isn’t the right environment for reptiles”

The theatre representatives have claimed that the snakes they use are aquatic pythons, but Alice Georges, a keeper at exotic pet shop Ferme Tropicale de Paris, said she had spotted reticulated pythons and Indian pythons in videos of the act posted online, which are not aquatic species. she said, “these aren’t aquatic snakes. What they’re being forced to endure is horrible” 

Danielle Simonnet MP and Aymeric Caron MP sent a letter to the management of the Moulin Rouge to encourage them to no longer exploit animals in their shows. Danielle Simonnet was present at the demonstration in front of the Moulin Rouge.

The Moulin Rouge appears to sit in a loophole in a 2021 law that forbids using wild animals in nightclubs or on TV from this year and bans owning them from 2028. This is the law that will ban the use of wild animals in live circus shows, television shows, nightclubs, and private parties, and it will outlaw mink farming. The ban on animal performances was set to start in 2023. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.