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Big Tops

Animal rights groups welcome cut in funding for animal circuses

Which is €15,000 less than last year.

ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the cut in funding for animal circuses from the Arts Council.

The council has awarded less funding this year to circuses, down to €20,000 this year from €35,000.

Duffy’s Circus, which has a sea lion act, was the only successful applicant for funding.

Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) have both welcomed the reduction.

Jan Creamer of ADI says they were “delighted”.

“[We] call on the [Arts Council] to continue with this progressive stance and sever ties completely with circuses which exploit animals and compromise welfare.”

“With towns and counties all over Ireland passing motions to ban or restrict animal-act circuses using public land, and with attendance dropping faster than ever before, the Arts Council should do what is right and completely cut any further funding to a business model that is geared around animal suffering and exploitation, not art”, says ARAN’s John Carmody.

The Arts Council of Ireland has given nearly €750,000 to animal circuses over the last six years, with Duffy’s Circus receiving more than €330,000 since 2008.

Sources with knowledge of the application process say that the Arts Council has no specific view on the issue, but has a strong animal welfare policy for all art forms, not just circuses.

An Arts Council spokesperson said that applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Read: Kildare may have seen its last ever animal circus in the county

Read: An Italian circus has been passing off two painted dogs as pandas

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