The Moulin Rouge, a renowned cabaret venue in Paris, France, has announced that it will no longer use live animals in its shows. The decision came after the venue received a big backlash for its controversial snake act, which featured terrestrial pythons being submerged underwater as part of the performance. In December 2022, animal rights activists began protesting outside the theatre about this act.

At the time of the protests, 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.”

Even the Paris mayoral office sent a letter to the Moulin Rouge, stating that the snake act did not respect the natural behaviour of the species, which are strong swimmers but prefer to stay on land. After all these protests, the Moulin Rouge has finally confirmed to the animal rights organisation PETA that it will ban the snake show and scrap all live animal performances, breaking a 134-year-old tradition that dated back to its opening in 1889. 

Mimi Bekhechi, PETA’s Vice President for UK, Europe & Australia, said, “This news has been a long time coming! For over a decade, we have been calling on the Moulin Rouge to stop treating animals as living props for human amusement. We celebrate the Moulin Rouge’s decision to get with the times and encourage other venues still exploiting animals in dated shows to follow suit… The use and abuse of animals in the name of entertainment is no longer acceptable to compassionate viewers.”

“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’.