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Dublin City Council backs ban on animal circuses

Councillors voted in favour of the motion last night.

Image: Shutterstock/Andrea Izzotti

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has backed a ban on animal circuses on public land.

Voting last night, councillors were heavily in favour of the motion.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe said that the move was a “step in the right direction” and reflected his party’s policy.

[The ban] sends out a signal that we want to get away from having animals in circus. Obviously, we need to listen to the circuses’ side of the story and take that into account. But more importantly we need to focus strongly on animal rights.

The motion was introduced by Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly.

While a process of legal consultation may still need to take place, the ban in theory should prevent animal circuses from operating on any land the council has jurisdiction over.

Speaking after the meeting, Reilly said: “I am delighted my motion was passed. This is a cruel outdated practice that holds no place in modern Ireland.

Training and torturing animals to perform tricks for our entertainment in an unnatural environment is inhuman and degrading.

“Not only that but animals are chained or caged for up to 24 hours a day and are only let out to perform.”


Earlier this year six people were arrested during a protest against an animal circus operating in Tallaght in the south of Dublin.

In the aftermath of the incident animal rights activists called for a nationwide ban on animal circuses.

The move has been welcomed by animal right’s group the DSPCA.

“The use of wild animals such as elephants, lions, hippos and tigers is not necessary to entertain,” said its CEO Brian Gillen.

Animals used in wild animal circuses cannot engage in natural behaviour, are transported in cramped conditions, and are often chained or caged for up to 23 hours a day.

The ban has also been backed by animal rights organisation Aran, which said “we feel the tide is turning and we welcome the day Irish circuses can thrive with proper artists and acrobats, that way everyone can have fun”.

Read: Calls for animal circus ban after protesters left bloody at demo

Also: Malicious and cruel: what drives someone to poison a dog?

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