Friday 30 September 2016

ISPCA calls for ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Geraldine Gittens

Published 24/03/2016 | 16:34

Circus Belly Wien, which is currently travelling around Ireland, has denied allegations by the ISPCA.
Circus Belly Wien, which is currently travelling around Ireland, has denied allegations by the ISPCA.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has called for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

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The lobby group has accused a circus which is currently travelling around Ireland of using chains to tie up elephants while they’re being transported, and often overnight.

“These elephants are currently touring Ireland with a travelling circus, transported around the country in cramped and barren ‘beast wagons’,” a statement from the ISPCA said.

“Elephants in circuses are normally chained by one or more legs during transport, and often overnight. The unnatural movements of the elephants, standing on hind legs, for example, also places potentially dangerous strain on joints and muscles and thus risks long-term damage. All this for human ‘entertainment’.”

One circus, Circus Belly Wien, is currently travelling around Ireland. When contacted by independent.ie, a representative said: “It’s lies about us and it’s not true.”

“The veterinaries control us a lot. They [the ISPCA] don’t need to worry about us,” she added.

Yesterday, a number of people were taken to hospital and others were arrested during an animal rights protest at the Circus Belly Wien.

Six people were arrested after the incident at the circus which is currently based on the Greenhills Road in Tallaght, Dublin.

Circus Belly Wien worker Amanda Renz claimed an elderly lady and children were knocked to the ground during the melee. The worker also said stones were thrown and vehicles were damaged in the incident.

Animal rights group ARAN called for calm over the clashes.

In a statement the group also demanded emergency government intervention to ban the use of animals in Irish circuses.

"Ireland is now being used as a dumping ground for international circuses that have had to move as a result of bans coming into play in Austria and Holland where Circus Belly Wien / Renz International were previously based."

ARAN said 13 Irish towns and cities have passed motions to ban animal-act circuses using public land.

The ISPCA is calling on the public to sign a petition as part of ‘The Big Stop’ campaign, and call for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

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