Yesterday, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D, signed regulations, that will come into effect on January 1st 2018, banning the use of wild animals in circuses in the Republic of Ireland.
The Irish government is to ban the use of wild animals in circuses from next year, with a new regulation that will come into effect on 1 January 2018.
Speaking about the landmark decision, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said:
“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. This is a progressive move, reflective of our commitment to animal welfare. I am of course allowing a modest lead in period to allow for alternative arrangements to be made for the animals in question.”
A statement from his department said the minister acknowledged that circus owners and operators may have “regrets” about the ban.
But it added that 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 ban has been welcomed by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), which had collected more than 27,600 signatures in support for a change in the law.
“Travelling circuses cannot and will never be able provide a suitable environment for wild animals such as elephants, tigers and lions which have complex physical and psychological welfare needs,” said the ISPCA’s chief executive, Dr Andrew Kelly.
“Coercing wild animals into doing tricks, which are actually abnormal behaviours for these animals, for human entertainment is outdated and it is right that it is being consigned to the history books where it belongs.”
Animal circuses in the UK
The Scottish government is in the process of introducing similar legislation, which if passed, will be the first of its kind in the UK.
However, animal circuses are still legal in the UK, but you can help by calling on the government to put the legislation, that has been drafted for four years, before Parliament. Contact your MP and help make it happen: http://bit.ly/scs-uk-ireland