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The use of wild animals will be banned in Irish circuses from January 2018

“The use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in circuses can no longer be permitted.”

Image: aleksandr4300 via Shutterstock

MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE Michael Creed has today signed regulations that will ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

The measures will come into effect on 1 January 2018.

“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,” Creed said.

“This is a progressive move, reflective of our commitment to animal welfare.”

Creed said that he is allowing a “modest” period of time for alternative arrangements to be made for the animals in question.

While circus owners and operators may have their regrets about this move, Creed said that he appreciated their concern and care for the animals that have been part of their lives.

However, he said 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 position.

“While the retirement of the small numbers of wild animals in circuses might seem like a loss, I am confident that this move will do more to secure the future of the circus community,” Creed said.

“Coming in line with modern welfare standards will mean that greater numbers of the public will be more comfortable going to the circus,” he said.

The Circuses (Prohibition on Use of Wild Animals) Regulations 2017 are made under the Animal and Welfare Act 2013.

Animal Rights Action Network’s John Carmody said that today was a “great day”.

He said: “Finally Ireland can raise its head and be proud that the country has finally taken a meaningful and real step to stop the suffering of wild animals forced to travel and perform in Irish circuses. We spent 20 plus years fighting for this day and here it is.”

With reporting from Sean Murray

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