After over 213 years of operation, Paris’ historic live bird market is closing. Held every Sunday since 1808, the market has been a place to see and purchase exotic species such as canaries, parakeets, and zebra finches. Located on the Ile de la Cite, the market has drawn both locals and tourists over the centuries. The Paris city council agreed on the closure due to concerns about bird trafficking, which was brought up by an animal activist group.
“The market had become the epicentre of bird trafficking in the Paris region, including of endangered birds,” Paris Mayor Christophe Najdovski told Reuters, adding, “A second reason for closing it is that the conditions in which the birds are presented are no longer acceptable.”
Only seven of the 13 people who have licenses to sell birds are actually using them correctly. Plans to transition the bird vendors into other professions are being discussed. However, some sellers are quite skeptical. Albert Badalamenti, for example, has been on the market for 38 years. He told Reuters, “They said they would recycle us, find us another job. What I fear is bankruptcy. What are we going to do with all this stock?”
While the market closure brings looming financial uncertainty for vendors, this is a celebrated milestone for animal rights.