Stop Circus Suffering

Ireland bans wild animals in circuses!

Announcement follows historic ban in Italy, and will take effect next year

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD has signed regulations banning the use of wild animals in circuses in Ireland. Hot on the heels of Italy banning all animal circus acts the day before, it comes after a decade of campaigning to stop circus suffering in Ireland by Animal Defenders International (ADI) and ARAN.

The Circuses (Prohibition on Use of Wild Animals) Regulations 2017 will come into effect on January 1st 2018. Minister Creed said “The use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in circuses can no longer be permitted. This is the general view of the public at large and a position I am happy to endorse. This is a progressive move, reflective of our commitment to animal welfare. I am of course allowing a modest lead in period to allow for alternative arrangements to be made for the animals in question.” He also stated that “Coming in line with modern welfare standards will mean that greater numbers of the public will be more comfortable with going to the circus.”

Read the full statement here

ADI is overjoyed, having campaigned intensely for an Irish ban for years with our partners ARAN. ADI field officers also worked undercover inside Irish circuses exposing the abuse.

ADI President Jan Creamer said: “Having campaigned to stop circus suffering in Ireland for more than a decade with our partners ARAN, we are delighted wild animals in circuses will be banned from 2018. Circuses cannot meet the needs of animals in small, mobile accommodation and Animal Defenders International has repeatedly documented suffering and abuse. We urge the UK and the USA to follow Ireland’s lead and consign these outdated acts to the past where they belong.”

Since the launch of the ADI and ARAN Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Ireland, the number of wild animals used has fallen from nearly 70 to just a few. The Arts Council has also slashed its funding of animal acts, and a growing number of local bans have been introduced across the country.

A private members bill introduced by Paul Murphy TD to ban wild animal acts was to be debated on 21 November and ADI had been urging supporters in Ireland to contact their TDs to support.

Acknowledging changing times and public attitudes, Fossett’s Marketing Manager Charles O’Brien told RTE Radio 1 that “the use of exotic animals….has been phased out over the last number of years, partly for commercial reasons, partly for humane considerations”. He said that the arrival of Circus Belly Wien who brought its elephants from the Netherlands, where such acts had been banned, to Ireland last year had “set circus back 30 years”. The controversial circus packed up and made its way to France less than two months into a 9-month tour. Fossetts previously toured with an elephant kept chained in the circus tent and who exhibited stereotypical behaviour.

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