Circuses by their very nature inflict physical and psychological suffering on animals. Trainers use whips, tight collars, electric prods, muzzles and bullhooks to get them to perform unnatural tricks and in doing so deny them the right to freedom and dignity.
There is also no clear legislation governing the welfare of wild animals in Ireland and so they can be transported for thousands of miles every year in cramped, stress-inducing conditions without ever being subject to inspection. However, even if an inspection system was introduced it would do little to alleviate their suffering.
These animals belong in their own natural habitats with their own kind, not shackled and caged for our so called 'pleasure' and 'entertainment'. It is a cruel, unethical practice which is certainly not entertaining and therefore should no longer be considered an artform.
And so we are calling on the Arts Council of Ireland to withdraw all future funding for any circuses which continue to carry animals in this country.