Circus animals will be outlawed in Ireland when the New Year begins.
Legislation was announced today that will see the use of animals for live entertainment be phased out, as part of the Irish government’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare.
“The use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in circuses can no longer be permitted. This is the general view of the public at large and a position I am happy to endorse,” said Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. The regulations, which will come into effect on 1 January 2018, are stated to provide “a modest lead in period to allow for alternative arrangements to be made for the animals in question.”
Creed went on to outline the inability of most circuses to properly care for such animals; “the ability of a travelling circus to provide fully for all the needs of animals such as camels or tigers is no longer a tenable proposition,” The bill has been given full governmental support and is seen as a new beginning fro live entertainment in Ireland. “While the retirement of the small numbers of wild animals in Irish circuses might seem like a loss I am confident that this move will do more to secure the future of the circus community. Coming in line with modern welfare standards will mean that greater numbers of the public will be more comfortable with going to the circus,” added Creed.
The news comes as a welcome, if somewhat overdue, development. John Carmody of Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) told Irish national broadcaster RTE the group spent over 20 years fighting for this day.
“We thank the Irish public who backed the campaign, local councillors around the country who introduced local council bans and the people who voted with their wallets and steered clear of animal-act circus,” said Carmody, “We thank Minister Creed but he must now work to end fur farms, puppy farms and hare coursing. Today is a great day.”