Circus animal ban 'not ruled out'


Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said he would not rule out banning the use of animals in circuses.

He told the Select Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine that he would like to give the matter more thought after Socialist Party TD Clare Daly raised concerns. They were discussing amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill. “My sense is that we should be probably trying to deal with it through regulation . . . but I don’t want to entirely rule that out,” Mr Coveney said.

Ms Daly said she had no problem with circuses that didn’t use animals, “but exploiting animals is certainly a different thing”.

She also described hare coursing as “appalling” and rejected the claim that it was a rural tradition. “It was a tradition to throw people to the lions in the Colosseum on a Friday night in downtown Rome. It didn’t mean it was a worthy activity.”

But Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath said he was “sick and tired” of listening to people from Dublin 4 telling rural Ireland how to live. He had invited Ms Daly and Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan to come to Clonmel to see hare coursing “but they refused”.

Ms O’Sullivan said there were “huge issues” about fur farms. “In a so-called developed world, that we are killing animals for their fur, it’s just appalling.”