Protesters demand circus animal act ban

The circus at Glynn last week. INLT-19-702-con
The circus at Glynn last week. INLT-19-702-con

An animal welfare group has held a protest calling for animal acts in circuses to be banned in Northern Ireland after a circus visited Glynn.

The Northern Ireland Says No to Animal Cruelty (NISNTAC) Facebook group organised protest events on May 4,5 and 6 after Tom Duffy’s Circus pitched on ground belonging to Larne Rugby Club in Glynn.

NISNTAC spokesperson Daniel told the Times that he believes animals are not born to perform for financial gain.

“We believe that keeping animals in circuses contravenes the five freedoms protected under the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011,” he stated.

“These include protecting animals from pain, suffering, injury and disease, respecting their need to exhibit normal behaviour and allowing them a suitable environment.

“Three circuses have travelled Northern Ireland this season and all have animals and we believe that the circus environment is in direct breach of our legislation.

“We are calling for the legislation to be implemented not just by animal welfare officers but also by specialists such as vets, who can determine whether the animals are suffering emotional stress.

“Ultimately we would like to see animal acts banned in circuses in Northern Ireland and we hope that our newly-elected MLAs will take action.”

A Mid and East Antrim Borough Council spokesperson said that an inspection had been carried out on April 25 when the circus was in the Ballymena area, and that “no animal welfare concerns were noted during the inspection.”