CIRCUSES FEATURING WILD animals won’t be allowed on public land in South Dublin following a vote by members of the local council.
The motion, which was put forward by councillor Dermot Looney, read:
That this Council, in the interests of animal welfare, will not grant licences or other permissions to circuses featuring wild animals or wild animal species. This Council states its opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses in general and calls on the Government to consider a ban as proposed in England and elsewhere.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Cllr Looney said he had been contacted by students at Firhouse Community College who had collected over 300 signatures from people on a petition to ban wild animal use in circuses.
He said that the motion “passed with pretty much unanimous support”.
Cllr Looney had sought previously through the council’s development plan four years ago to do something similar, but at that time “it wasn’t really an appropriate”, he said.
Of this latest motion, he said:
I think we just move beyond the use of wild animals and wild animal species for entertainment purposes.
He said that today there are various ways to access information about wild animals without needing to visit a circus.
He said of non-animal circuses: “maybe that’s the model we need to look at guiding circuses towards. As a society, we should move beyond the use of animals in this way. They’re kept in facilities that aren’t up to scratch when it comes to animal welfare.”
Though he said he does not have direct evidence of animal cruelty in animal-act circuses, he would make the point “that circuses that travel around can’t possibly be expected to maintain living space for tigers and other wild animals”.