QCA follows the Irish campaigns with great interest. After the work of Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) and Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) on the occasion of the Irish General Elections, keeping animal issues in the foreground, ARAN is now re-focussing their long term efforts to expose animal act circuses.
Since ARAN’s foundation, we have been coordinating our ‘Stop Circus Suffering in Ireland’ campaign, which is highly effective at educating members of the public to steer clear of any circuses using animals. Our campaign also focuses on getting into schools, and of course, legislation to outlaw animal act circuses. We’ve successfully supported local councillors in Cork and Fingal Council, to bring in motions to ban animal act circuses and are currently working behind the scenes to try to enforce this legislation.
On Sunday, March 13, members and supporters of ARAN held a highly successful protest outside Duffy’s circus in Galway. Our campaigners were joined by a local vegan group who helped with the demonstration. During the peaceful event, people held our banners and placards which encouraged huge amounts of support from passing traffic. We also distributed dozens of leaflets to people going into and out of the circus—we’re confident many will never return, once their eyes are opened to the suffering of animals inside the circus.
There is hope on the horizon – for many years Vegas and Fossett’s circus toured Ireland using animals, but today, we’re glad to say both circuses are using few or no animals which is encouraging news. ARAN’s campaign will now focus over the coming year on generating press coverage, local demonstrations, school education and grassroots outreach. We’re also confident that a future without any animals in Irish circuses will become a reality in a matter of years, but for now we’ll step up our campaign.
Less than 48 hours after our Galway demonstration, we were in Dublin to educate the classes of Colaiste Iosagain in Blackrock about cruelty to animals, animal act circuses and the slaughter of animals for consumption. Our campaigners played ‘Meet Your Meat’ to all the students, which helped to expose inside the slaughterhouse and open the students’ eyes up to the suffering of animals—the DVD was well received by all. We provided students with leaflets and information on how to get active and speak out for animals. All ARAN school talks are completely informal and mainstream in our approach, which we believe is the most effective way of bringing people on board for the animals’ cause.
Shortly after the school talk, we held a one hour live call in on FM104 radio to debate horse racing. During a live on-air call in, a vote ended up 54% in support of our opinion that cruelty is very much rife inside the horse racing industry and callers to the show also supported our views. We also managed to talk about cruel greyhound racing, circuses, slaughterhouses and much more.
‘Fighting animal abuse across Ireland’