Stop Circus Suffering

Ireland says goodbye to wild animal show that “set circus back 30 years”

Circus Belly Wien packs up and leaves Ireland 7 months early as public says no to suffering

The controversial Circus Belly Wien has packed up and is making its way to France less than two months into its 9-month tour of Ireland following roars of disapproval from the public.

Circus Belly Wien set up in Ireland having been prevented from performing in The Netherlands, where the use of wild animals was banned last year. Their arrival in February was condemned by ADI and ARAN, who have been campaigning together against the suffering of animals in circuses in Ireland for over 10 years.

During that time the number of wild animals used has fallen from nearly 70 to just a handful, with Courtney Brothers Circus being the only one still to feature such acts in its show – including tigers from the now disbanded Great British Circus in England, where ADI documented abuse during training. The Arts Council has also slashed its funding of animal acts, with a growing number of local bans being introduced too across the country.

One circus previously touring with wild animal acts is Fossett’s who had previously toured with an elephant kept chained in the circus tent and camels who, like the elephant, exhibited stereotypical behaviour. Acknowledging changing times and public attitudes, Fossett’s Marketing Manager Charles O’Brien recently told RTE Radio 1 that “the use of exotic animals, certainly among Duffy’s Circus and ourselves Fossett’s, has been phased out over the last number of years, partly for commercial reasons, partly for humane considerations”. Expressing his disapproval of Circus Belly Wien, he went on to say that their arrival had “set circus back 30 years”.

With no legislation in place to prohibit shows like Circus Belly Wien travelling to Ireland, ADI and ARAN is urging the government to take action. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Minister Michelle O’Neill has not ruled out a ban, although an All-Island system of regulation for the use of wild animals in circuses is being considered. ADI evidence has shown that inspections do not safeguard welfare or protect animals from abuse.

Please take action for animals in circuses in Ireland and across the UK!


  1. Victoria Righthouse · 8 April 2016 at 2:14a

    Circus animals should be retired to sanctuaries. They have suffered enough!

  2. Janine Vinton · 8 April 2016 at 2:14a

    No more suffering for ‘so called’ entertainment. Stop abusing these beautiful sentient beings.

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