ARAN reports on probably its busiest week ever in its campaign to stop circus suffering in Ireland…
Elephant runs amok in car park
On Tuesday 27 March an elephant with the Courtney Brothers Circus ran loose through a car park in Cork. Footage of the incident was captured by a couple of office workers, resulting in international press coverage.
Courtney Brothers Circus has been touring Ireland for the last couple of months and ARAN has been shadowing them at every location they visit, organising demonstrations and highlighting public safety and animal welfare problems associated with keeping wild animals in a travelling circus.
In the days that followed the elephant’s escape, ARAN was inundated with media requests, featuring on 4FM, Dublin’s 98FM, Newstalk, Today FM, SPIN 1038FM, Phantom FM, Lite FM, Cork’s Red FM, Cork’s 95FM, Matt Cooper’s Last Word on Today FM, The George Hook Show on Newstalk, BBC Radio, Irish radio station Radio Na Life, UTV Radio as well as international radio stations as far afield as the USA and Australia. Quotes in the printed press included The Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Sun, Irish Star, Irish Mirror, Irish Daily Mail, Evening Herald, Metro Herald, The Cork News, The Cork Independent and Evening Echo.
As the media frenzy unfolded, public outrage crept in and ARAN received dozens of calls from members of the public wanting to know what they could do to help. Two days’ after the incident, ARAN’s website went down due to the high volume of visitors!
Meanwhile, in the US, at the PAWS Summit for Elephants Conference, more than a dozen top animal protectionists, scientists and those working in the field of elephant conservation called for an end to the use of elephants in travelling circuses. Read more on this here.
ARAN demonstrates against Courtney Brothers
On Saturday 31 March, nearly 150 people attended a demonstration outside the circus, lead by its elephant ‘Neville’, marching from Blackpool Shopping Centre to the circus site at The Sunbeam. News of the demonstration was widely publicised in the Irish media, helping raise awareness and bolster numbers.
You can watch of a video from the day here.
Courtney staff injured by elephant
As news that a man working for the circus had been be taken to hospital for medical treatment broke, ARAN appealed for emergency legislation to be brought into the upcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill and also for local councils across the country to introduce similar legislation to Cork and Fingal Councils. Apparently, one of the circus elephants fell onto the worker, temporarily crushing him against the floor. More media coverage ensued with many Irish media running full or half page articles as well as radio coverage also.
ARAN are working to encourage local councils across the nation to adopt legislation to ban animal circuses and look forward to reporting on campaign developments in due course.
Find out more about ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign here.