Target: Orlaith McBride, Director, Arts Council of Ireland
Goal: Praise decrease in taxpayer funding to Ireland’s animal circuses.
Animal circuses will receive less taxpayer funding this year, thanks to a decision by the Arts Council of Ireland. In the past six years, over 750,000 euros have been allocated to circuses from the federal budget. In 2015, instead of 35,000 euros, the only animal circus receiving funding from the arts council will get only 20,000 euros. The decision comes as several towns and counties throughout Ireland seek to ban traveling animal acts.
At a young age, circus animals are robbed of any semblance of a natural life. They are trained with intimidation, deprivation, and violence. They spend their days traveling in the backs of trucks during all kinds of extreme weather. In the evenings, they are forced to perform in loud, crowded conditions before returning to their cramped cages. In the past, these animals have “snapped,” injuring or even killing trainers and innocent bystanders.
Animals are restricted from regular behaviors including socialization and play, and can develop serious mental, physical, and behavioral issues. The distress caused by their lifestyles can lead to stereotypical behaviors such as pacing, gnawing on cage bars, or even self-harm. Larger animals can develop pressure sores from constant contact with hard concrete flooring, elephants often develop skin issues from improper care, and most animals are left without regular veterinary care.
Attendance is already declining at animal circuses in Ireland, but the council’s decision could serve as the final push toward eliminating them entirely. Applaud the council’s decision to remove taxpayer funding from this cruel and old-fashioned form of entertainment.
Dear Ms. Orlaith McBride,
The Arts Council of Ireland has cut funding to animal circuses by nearly half. This year, only 20,000 euros will be allocated to animal circuses, which are being banned in cities across Ireland and are seeing reduced attendance. These circuses use fear, violence, and starvation to control animals, keeping them almost constantly caged or restrained.
Health issues are prevalent in circus animals, including behavioral problems such as constant pacing or nervous gnawing. Unsanitary and cramped conditions lead to pressure sores, skin conditions, and disease.
Using animals for entertainment is a cruel practice that should be outlawed entirely. Without taxpayer funding, it is likely that this failing industry will finally stop operations for good. We, the undersigned, applaud the council’s decision to remove subsidies from animal circuses.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: torange.us via Creative Commons