03 February 2006

Animal Rights Group Criticises Arts Council Funding For Animal Circuses


by Ciaran Long - Alliance For Animal Rights pagan_animal_liberation_front at hotmail dot com

Animal rights group, the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) has strongly criticised the decision by the Arts Council to allocate120,000 euros to Irish circuses containing animal acts, and described it as “further state funding for animal abuse by this government”. CAPS Irish spokesperson Nuala Donlon is calling on the Arts Council to reconsider its decision in light of the serious concerns about animal welfare and public safety which surround such travelling menageries.

Animals in circuses suffer extreme deprivation and are subjected to physical abuse in their training routines, facts which have become public knowledge in recent years following several undercover operations.

Wild animals are particularly badly affected, travelling as they do thousands of miles every year in beast wagons and chained (in the case of elephants) and caged (other species) while circuses are on sites. According to Ms. Donlon “There is no way a travelling menagerie can provide such animals with the facilities required to fulfil even their most basic behavioural needs”.

The brutal nature of the training methods used by circuses has also been well exposed by now. The nature of these training methods is revealed by the tools of the trade. Whips are seen in the ring, but the use of screws hidden in the base of walking sticks, spikes concealed in tasselled sticks, and hotshots or electric shock devices has been documented.

And the Arts Council calls this art!!

In 2005 alone at least six people were injured, one of them critically, after being attacked by circus animals.

“Given our serious concerns for the welfare of circus animals, and the public safety issues which surround such travelling circuses, we call on the Arts council to take the humane decision and withdraw this funding”. – Nuala Donlon

For further information contact Nuala Donlon, Irish spokesperson, Captive Animals Protection Society, at 086 – 3985761

Related Link: http://www.captiveanimals.org/

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