Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Stop Circus Suffering: Ireland

Posted: 30 June 2006. Updated: 18 June 2014

Cork County votes for circus ban

On 9 June 2014, Cork County Councillors unanimously agreed to ban circuses with animal acts from their land. A huge thank you to Animal Rescue Cobh (ARC) for their efforts in working to secure the ban with our campaign partner ARAN and Councillor Kieran McCarthy for introducing the motion.

South Dublin votes to stop circus suffering!

On 10 March 2014, South Dublin became the latest council to ban circuses with wild animals acts from public land. The motion, proposed by Councillor Dermot Looney, was passed by a majority. Ahead of the vote ADI and ARAN alerted councillors to the inherent suffering of animals in circuses.

Sea lions to suffer in Duffy’s circus act in Ireland

Duffy’s Circus, one of the few circuses still to perform with wild animals in Ireland, has announced plans to introduce a new sea lion act this season. Read more...

Arts Council grants for animal circuses cut

ADI and ARAN are delighted to hear that annual grants to animal circuses in Ireland have been substantially cut by the Arts Council this year. Read more and find out how you can help cut ALL funding

Arklow brings in circus ban

November 2013: Arklow Town Council in Wicklow has voted to ban wild animals in circuses; the motion was tabled by Councillor Pat Fitzgerald and passed unanimously, by seven votes to nil. Our utmost thanks to Councillor Fitzgerald and fellow councillors for taking decisive action to stop circus suffering in their community. Arklow now joins the growing number of councils in Ireland who are reflecting public opinion and turning their backs on the use of animals in circuses.

Clonakilty passes circus ban

October 2013: Clonakilty in Co. Cork bans circuses with performing wild animals on public land. Thanks go to Councillor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin for introducing the motion, our Irish campaign partner ARAN and their fantastic supporters and to the Clonakilty councillors for passing the ban.

“All-Island” approach to animal circuses in Ireland welcomed

ADI and our Irish campaign partner ARAN have today welcomed the news that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will “investigate the possibility of an “All-Island” approach to the issue of wild animals in travelling circuses”. Read more...

"End of an era” as Irish circus says goodbye to its big cat acts

Duffy’s Circus owner announces that lions and tigers will not be performing with the circus for the rest of the season, and are unlikely to do so in the future. ADI and ARAN, campaigning for the end of all wild animals in circuses in Ireland, have welcomed the move and agree that the end of an area of circus suffering is in sight for Ireland. Read more...

Kilkenny circus ban deferred

Councillor Noonan’s motion to ban circuses with wild animals from performing on council-owned land was unfortunately not discussed on Monday 11th March as planned, but has been rescheduled for discussion at the council’s April meeting. Read more...

Back the ban in Kilkenny!

Last year Kilkenny Borough Council voted down a motion to ban wild animal circus acts on council land put forward by Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan. Good news! Councillor Noonan has managed to get the motion re-introduced and we need you to help secure a ban. Read more / take action

Wicklow bans wild animals in circuses!

On 7 November, Wicklow Town Council became the latest Irish council to ban circuses with wild animals and, in a landmark victory, the council also voted to ban the promotion of ALL animal circuses! Read more...

Call to end wild animal circus acts in Offaly

ADI and our Irish partner ARAN are calling on councillors in Offaly to introduce a motion to ban circuses with wild animal acts, as councils in Monaghan, Drogheda and Waterford have done recently. Read more...

Drogheda Council votes to ban wild animals in circuses

ADI is delighted that Councillor Kevin Callan’s motion to ban wild animals in circuses was passed at the Drogheda Council meeting on October 1st.

The motion will now go through a public consultation process and, all being well, the motion will then become a legal bylaw.

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to personally contact the councillors ahead of the vote. Your efforts really DO make a difference. With your help, ADI and ARAN can stop circus suffering in Ireland.

Drogheda Councillors: Please vote yes!

ADI’s campaign with ARAN in Ireland is stepping up as we urge councils across Ireland to ban the use of wild animals in circuses on their land. The next council to vote on this issue will be Drogheda on October 1st.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please email Drogheda Councillors today and ask them to support Councillor Kevin Callan’s motion to end wild animal acts.


Don’t kill the ban in Kilkenny

Six councillors have voted against a motion to ban wild animals in circuses in Kilkenny. This is extremely disappointing but all is not lost as Councillor Malcolm Noonan hopes to reintroduce the motion in October.

Take action Please email the councillors urging them to support the ban:,,,,,
Watch our video / Read our report

Stop Circus Suffering campaign update

ADI and our dynamic Irish campaign partner ARAN are celebrating Monaghan City Council passing the motion, introduced by Councillor Sean Conlon, to ban wild animal acts from council-owned land. ADI also congratulate Steven Agnew, Green Party leader for Northern Ireland, for tabling a ‘no named day motion’ calling for wild animals in circuses to be banned. Read more...

ARAN march and rally

Our Irish campaign partner, ARAN, held a peaceful, lively and upbeat march to call for tougher laws to stamp out animal abuse, and to raise awareness of animal issues in Ireland on Sunday 26 August in Dublin. See photos from the event here.

Monaghan Town Council bans animal circuses

Our campaign partner, ARAN, has today announced the good news that Monaghan Town Council has unanimously passed a motion to ban animal-act circuses, joining Waterford, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Leitrim and Galway who have all passed similar motions. ADI congratulates Councillor Sean Conlon and ARAN for their efforts in getting this motion introduced.

Councillor John Mccartin moves to introduce motion to ban animal circuses in Leitrum

ARAN has applauded Councillor John Mccartin, for moving to introduce a motion to ban circuses with animal acts in Leitrum, which follows Waterford, Galway City, Kilkenny and Drogheda Councils who are also introducing similar motions this month. Should the motions be successful, it will bring the respective towns into line with Fingal and Cork City Council.

Campaign update from ARAN

Find out about the latest activities of our campaign partner, ARAN, here.

Waterford motion to ban wild animals in circuses progressing

ARAN applauds Waterford City Council as a motion to ban wild animals in circuses, put forward by Independent Councillor Sean Reinhardt and seconded by Sinn Fein Councillor John Hearne, moves forward to the next legislative stage that goes to the Council’s Strategic Policy Committee (SPC). Read more

Mayor of Drogheda supports circus ban

Ahead of the arrival of the Courtney Brothers Circus, our campaign partner, ARAN, wrote to Drogheda Borough Council calling on them to introduce a motion to ban animal circuses. Less than 24 hours later, the Mayor of Drogheda Kevin Callan contacted them to give his support for their circus campaign and confirm that he will introduce a motion at the next council meeting.

Working for a more compassionate future

ARAN’s work in Irish schools continues to help bring kindness and compassion to students and children, helping them to better understand animals. As the future welfare of animals lies with the younger generation, ARAN focuses much of its work on school talks, which are so well received that they are invited back to speak again without exception! Watch a video clip from a recent ARAN school talk here.

ARAN circus campaign update

ARAN reports on probably its busiest week ever in its campaign to stop circus suffering in Ireland. Read more...

Elephant trainer crushed in Ireland

Whilst attempting to break up a fight between two elephants, a trainer at Courtney Brothers Circus was crushed and hospitalised. Read more...

Statement on recent circus elephant escape

Following the escape of an elephant from Courtney Brothers Circus in Ireland, delegates at the PAWS Summit for Elephants conference, California, issue statement calling for an end to the use of elephants in travelling circuses. Read more

ARAN keeps circus suffering in Ireland in the spotlight

Our campaign partner ARAN have been busy this month demonstrating against animal circuses in Ireland, including Duffy’s Circus and The Courtney Brothers. Read more...

ARAN support SCS campaign and plan tour of schools

As well as holding regular demonstrations at circuses across Ireland, our Irish partners ARAN have supported our UK campaign. ARAN are also planning a nationwide tour of schools with exciting new campaign materials.

Demonstrations against Great European Circus

Our Irish partners have started the year with lively and peaceful demonstrations in Waterford and Galway. Read more...

ARAN demonstration in Waterford, February 14th

As part of their ‘Stop Circus Suffering in Ireland’ campaign, our Irish campaign partners ARAN (Animal Rights Action Network) plan to hold a lively peaceful demonstration in Waterford next Sunday (February 14th). Read more...

Ireland could take the initiative over a ban on animal circuses

A huge 10-foot inflatable elephant accompanied representatives of Animal Defenders International to a meeting at the Department of Agriculture in Dublin for a last-chance presentation calling for a ban on the use of animals in circuses Read more...

ADI supports campaign partner Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN)’s rally against cruelty to animals

Animal Defenders International are proud to have been working with ARAN and yourselves for several years now, on campaigns to end the suffering and abuse of animals in travelling circuses and the use of animals in experiments. Both campaigns show that together we can make a difference, we can stop the needless suffering of animals. Find out more...

Fingal to ban wild animal circuses

Following a motion introduced by Socialist Party member Clare Daly last night at the council meeting Fingal County Council is set to pass a policy that will end all ‘wild’ animal circus performances on County Council land. Read more

Circus animal ban for Northern Ireland?

Yesterday Defra Minister Ben Bradshaw announced to the House of Commons that a ban on the use of certain wild animals was being planned for the UK under the Animal Welfare Bill. Read more

Moyle Council stands firm

Bid by Sinn Fein Councillor to overturn ban on animal circuses unsuccessful as Moyle Council stands firm. Read more

Moyle District Council move to ban animal circuses

ADI applauds Moyle District Council for continuing to ban animal circuses from council grounds. Read more

Stop Circus Suffering rolls into Ireland

In November 2005 Ireland’s Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) joined forced with ADI for an Irish Stop Circus Suffering campaign. Following an undercover investigation inside Ireland’s circuses, ADI produced an Irish version of the Stop Circus Suffering DVD and a report the investigation of Irish circuses, and ARAN pushed the campaign across the country. Find out more...

ADI and with Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) launch campaign to end use of animals in circuses in Ireland

A new hard-hitting campaign to stop the use of animals in circuses is being launched in Ireland today by ADI and ARAN. The campaign report on Ireland’s circuses is based on undercover investigations by ADI Field Officers into seven circuses touring Ireland in 2000 and 2003. Find out more...

Animal Circuses belong to the past

In the last 100 years human understanding of the planet we live on and the animals with whom we share our world has grown enormously. We have made great strides in technology, medicine and learning. Yet how can we consider ourselves civilised, whilst we continue to allow the suffering and abuse of animals simply for entertainment. Read more...

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