Cruel circuses using wild animals are banned

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

By Geraldine Gittens

Circuses could be facing a ban from more Dublin areas after South Dublin County Council called for an end to permit circuses which use wild animals.

In light of the well-documented evidence of suffering endured by the animals involved in circuses, councillors unanimously voted to support the introduction of bylaws which would ensure that circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of South Dublin County.

Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire County Council and Cork county council have all passed similar motions.

Cllr Tony McDermott (GP) said: “There is still a large presence of wild animals in circuses despite public opinion.”

He said he’d seen the “whole danger of mixing wild animals within societies and urban areas in the last three years.

“A woman and her daughter were killed on the road in Galway two or three years ago, when some wild animals came loose,” he said, stating that seven children have been injured in recent years because of wild circus animals.

Cllr Therese Ridge (FG) said: “I think that most parents bring their children to circuses for the clowns and acrobats.

“I have a particular recollection of being in the country on holidays and a local donkey was used as fodder for the wild animals.

Cllr Eamonn Maloney (Lab) said: “The relevant minister should have no difficulty in banning activity such as circuses with wild animals.”

In a written response to Cllr McDermott, the council said a review was undertaken in 2005.

“It was concluded that it was not appropriate for the council to host circuses which made use of wild animals on council lands,” it was said. “In 2006 preference was given to circuses that did not make use of wild animals.”

“The companies now submitting expressions of interest for the sites on South Dublin County Council lands no longer contain acts using wild animals.

“This measure is considered to have dealt with the matter as far as council land is concerned and it is not considered necessary to introduce bylaws.”

We are working with councillors across the whole of Ireland to put forward motions in their area.

If you are a councillor interesting in raising this issue locally, or a member of the public wanting your council to act, contact Freedom for Animals for advice and support.

If you are aware of any councils meeting to vote on this issue please do let us know as soon as possible. The more time we have the greater the opportunity that we can provide all councillors with up to date and detailed information on animal circuses in Ireland.

Although Freedom for Animals is based in the UK we work closely with animal protection organisations throughout the whole of Ireland and are the major source of information on the issue.

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