Wild animals banned from circuses in Republic of Ireland


Ban on use of wild animals in circuses as of 2018 welcomed

The Circuses (Prohibition on Use of Wild Animals) Regulations 2017 are made under the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013, which updated and replaced around forty pieces of primary legislation in the area of animal welfare and health.

The government has been asked to clarify what will happen to wild animals in Irish circuses when a ban on their use comes into effect in January (Catherine Sanz writes).

Many local authorities in Ireland already don’t allow public land to be used by circuses who continue to use wild animals, but the legislation is “reflective of the Government’s commitment to animal welfare”, Creed noted.

He warned it is not tenable for a travelling circus to fully provide for the needs of wild animals.

“They are chronically frustrated, stressed, and depressed from a lifetime of being denied the opportunity to do anything that’s natural and important to them, kept caged in trailers that are hauled around the country, and forced to perform confusing tricks under the big top in some Victorian era form of amusement”. “This is the general view of the public at large and a position I am happy to endorse”, he said.

Andrew Kelly, chief of the ISPCA, said that it was not clear whether the ban, announced on Thursday by Michael Creed, the agriculture minister, would allow circuses to keep their existing animals until they died or oblige them to take them to an animal sanctuary.

The new ban has been praised by animal rights groups across the country with Animal Rights Action Network’s John Carmody saying that today was a “great day”.

Earlier this spring the ADI, in collaboration with the Italian group LAV, supported the launch of the bill and presented lawmakers with a special screening of the film Lion Ark, which covers the epic rescue of circus animals in Bolivia.

You can show your support for animals being used in entertainment by signing and sharing the petition asking Congress to pass the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act.

However, circus leaders claim such a ban could mean zoos would be included under the same ban and would have to close.

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