Victory! Ireland Bans Use of Wild Animals in Circuses

Days after Italy passed similar legislation, Ireland banned the use of exotic and wild animals from circuses. Starting in January 2018, elephants, tigers, lions, and zebras will no longer be allowed to perform in the country for human entertainment.

The announcement was made on Thursday, by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed. He signed the regulations, saying the use of wild animals in circuses “can no longer be permitted.” As Irish Times reports, the Minister’s decision has been welcomed by numerous activist groups who have spent years campaigning against the practice.

“This is the general view of the public at large and a position I am happy to endorse,” said Creed. “This is a progressive move, reflective of our commitment to animal welfare.”

Ireland is now the 42nd country in the world, and the 20th in the EU, to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. Some folks aren’t surprised, as the number of traveling circuses showcasing wild animals reduced from seven to four between 2006 and 2012. This data was obtained from the UK-based charity Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPs). According to CAPs, the number of animals used in circuses also declined in the same time period, from 33 to 16. Furthermore, the importation of animals has fallen, as well.

The Society said in its last report, “Touring season, animals living restricted lives, temporary and inadequate accommodation, constant transportation and unnatural social groups remain serious concerns.”

Dr. Andrew Kelly, the chief executive of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), is but one supporter of the Minister’s decision. He told the press, “It’s our view that circuses can never provide a safe environment for animals. We aren’t talking about zoos here – we are talking about animals being coerced into doing tricks that they wouldn’t do in the wild.”

Kelly also supports Creed’s claim that banning wild animals from circuses will actually increase the number of visitors. This is because consumers are becoming more conscious about their habits and the industries they support. 

Animal Rights Action Network spokesman John Carmody is enthused by the legislation, as well. He said Ireland “has finally taken a meaningful and real step to stop the suffering of wild animals forced to travel and perform in Irish circuses”.

With this move, Ireland joins several other countries, including Romania, Iran, the Netherlands, and the UK. It also joins the growing list of U.S. cities to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland.

No creature wants to spend their lives in a cage. So why do we, as humans, force this existence upon others? What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Source: Irish Times


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