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Ireland bans wild animals from circuses

Ireland bans wild animals from circuses”

Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture has signed the new legislation and said, "The use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in circuses can no longer be permitted".

Even though some cities and states have taken action to protect animals used in circuses, supporters continue to argue that the issue needs to be addressed on a federal level because the mobile nature of circuses makes it hard for law enforcement and inspectors to follow up on incidents and potential or actual violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which leaves officials virtually incapable of doing anything meaningful to ensure the well-being of animals, or the safety of the public. The act has been well-received and has been implemented in recent years.

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

As noted by Mr Creed, local authorities in Ireland had increasingly refused to authorise the use of public land for circuses in which wild animals would be used, signalling a broader shift in cultural acceptance.

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. "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".

This is not Carmody's first impressive victory - the Limerick man oversaw efforts to pass the Animal Health and Welfare Act - the first since 1911, The Dog Breeding Establishments Act, The Ward Union Hunt ban, Ireland supporting the EU Canadian seal products trade ban and many more animal welfare initiatives.

A statement from his department said the minister acknowledged that circus owners and operators may have "regrets" about the ban. However, Mr Creed has thanked them for caring for the animals in the past few years.

"Our understanding of animals such as elephants, zebras, and lions are is expanding, and we now know that a circus can never come close to meeting their complex needs".



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