It is likely that the tiger pictured here in a performance
in Tom Duffy’s circus in 2012 is one of the big cats due to be sent to England.
July 21, 2013
CAPS has today renewed calls on Government to move quickly and decisively to ban the use of wild animals in circuses as news reports suggest that big cats may be sent over from Ireland to perform in an English circus in the near future. This is in spite of overwhelming public support for a complete ban on the practice. At present, there are no big cats being used in English circuses.
As recently as February of this year, animal protection campaigners appeared to move a step closer to seeing an end to the use of wild animals in English circuses as the last of the big cats performing in big tops were removed and sent to Ireland. Less than six months later and news reports suggest that two lions and four tigers, some of which have recently been performing with a circus in Ireland, are “soon to join a new circus in England”. At least some of the cats are likely to be those that have been used in Tom Duffy’s circus until recently and are not the same animals that were sent over from England earlier this year. A spokesperson for CAPS said: “This situation demonstrates perfectly the urgent need to close the door on this outdated practice. Until a ban is implemented, any species of animal could be brought into the country to be used in the circus”.
In April this year, the Government published draft legislation to ban the use of all wild animals in circuses; a move which was welcomed by campaigners. Concerns were raised, however, over the proposed implementation date of December 2015 which, it was argued, delayed the process unnecessarily. More recently, leading animal welfare groups have criticised the recommendations of the select committee charged with scrutinising the draft bill for attempting to narrow the scope of the legislation to exclude many species of wild animal.