As someone from a farming background who has worked in agriculture for over a decade before being elected as TD I understand first-hand the importance of animal welfare.
I was proud to be part of the Fine Gael-led government which passed the Animal Health and Welfare Act in 2013. This act contains progressive measures and was the first reform of legislation in the area for several decades.
I warmly welcome the signing of signing of regulations by Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed which bans the use of wild animals in circuses.
The Circuses (Prohibition on use of Wild Animals) Regulation 2017 were signed on Thursday and will come into effect on 1st January 2018.
I wholeheartedly agree with Minister Creed’s assertion that the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in circuses can no longer be permitted. There may have been a case in the past when we did not have the communication and entertainment methods such as TV, cinema, and the Internet or when the vast majority of people did not have the opportunity for foreign travel. However, this is no longer the case and these new regulations are progressive are very much in keeping with the constructive and thorough animal welfare legislation which we now have.