Sunday Mirror editorial: Blow your top at this circus hell

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Once again we have a shocking story highlighting the plight of circus elephants and, once again, it raises the issue of the ethics of animals in circuses.

Elephants are highly intelligent and in the wild live in large social groups. On average wild elephants travel between 1km and 30km a day, with 60 to 80 per cent of their time spent foraging for food and water.

The two creatures travelling Ireland with Circus Sydney enjoy no such privileges.

Not only are they – like all circus animals – cooped up in trucks and dragged round the country but the tricks they are forced to perform look degrading and painful.

When these magnificent animals aren’t travelling or performing, they are kept in small enclosures behind electric fences.

While we don’t know the specifics of how elephants are ‘taught’ to swing their trunks or hobble about on three legs at Circus Sydney, the ethics of how any wild creature, even one born in captivity, is made to do such tricks has long been called into question.

Animal welfare groups have long been campaigning to have them banned.

In the UK, the number of circuses using animals is dwindling as the public becomes more aware of the welfare issues involved and turns its back on that form of entertainment.

There is a proposed ban on the use of animals in circuses for England and Wales. Ireland, north and south, should follow suit.

Animal circuses are a relic from the past that we should long ago have abandoned.

While we wait for a law change, however, show your disapproval by simply not going to such a show.

There are many wonderful circuses, full of fabulous human acts. Support those instead.

We should not accept any form of entertainment that abuses and degrades animals.

What can you do

– Boycott circuses with performing animals

Become a Freedom for Animals supporter – you can help to make a difference

– Write to your Assembly Member/TD, asking them to support a ban animal use in circuses. Contact details can be found HERE for Republic of Ireland and HERE for Northern Ireland

– Write to your local newspaper highlighting what is wrong with circuses.

Send a donation to help our campaigns – your contribution is vital.

Click HERE to get involved in our campaigns in the Republic of Ireland and HERE to get involved in Northern Ireland contact us to join our e-mail list.

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