Camel born at controversial circus but no repeat of 'mini riot' as protesters gather
Animals rights groups protesting outside a circus in Dublin last night claimed they successfully deterred people from attending.
Up to 80 people carrying banners and placards held a demonstration outside the Belly Wien circus at Greenhills Road in Tallaght.
A large number of gardai were on duty and there were no repeat of disturbances that occurred at the circus site on the previous two evenings.
Demonstrators said they strongly opposed the principle of using animals in circus acts.
Bernie Wright (63), spokeswoman for the Alliance for Animal Rights, said all circuses worldwide fail to give animals the natural lives that the animals deserve.
"We are delighted that we saw hardly any members of the public passing our protests to go into the circus. We saw parents with kids turning back from going in when they saw us.
"We hope that by preventing them from making money on performances, they might decide to retire the animals," she said.
Aisling Kennedy (47), of the Animal Rights Action Network, said she opposed the processes of training animals to perform circus tricks, the conditions of frequently transporting them in trucks, and their confinement on sites.
Members of the German-based circus insisted they cared strongly for the welfare of all of their 70 animals.
The protests had cut attendance significantly, they said.
Circus member Nadja Scholl (29) said a baby camel born at the Tallaght circus site on Monday was evidence the camels were content and thriving.
"We love our animals and treat them very well.
"We don't beat them or use bull hooks," she said.