ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS expressed their concern today after an incident in which a camel ended up walking in between cars on a road in Fermoy, Co Cork.
The animal strayed into the path of oncoming traffic after leaving the care of a circus, last Wednesday evening, according to John Carmody, from the Animal Rights Action Network (Aran).
“It came to our attention when a member of the public, who was in her car at the time, sent us a photo of the camel, and expressed concern about the incident,” Carmody told TheJournal.ie today.
The incident came to an end when the animal was led back off the road.
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said in a statement today that it was “alarmed” by the episode, which “caused danger to road users and put the camel’s welfare at risk.”
“This latest incident demonstrates that circuses simply cannot care for their animals appropriately,” said ISPCA Chief Executive Dr Andrew Kelly.
Carmody told TheJournal.ie that the 2 July incident would only add to existing calls for Agriculture, Marine and Food Minister Simon Coveney to take action.
“We’re opposed to all circuses using animals, and have been working for years to bring about a ban,” he said.
The ISPCA, for its part, today renewed its call on Coveney to “introduce a complete ban on using wild animals in circuses,” and asked the government to bring an end to Arts Council grants for circuses.
Independent TD Maureen O’ Sullivan asked Coveney in March if he would consider an “outright ban on the use of animals in circuses.”
The Minister responded that such a ban was not in the works, once circus animals were looked after “in a proper manner” and underwent “no unnecessary suffering.”
Representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food, and the circus company in question, were not available for comment at publication.