What used to be a massive attraction for circuses around the world is quickly becoming a relic of the past. Local, state and national governments have been installing legislation after listening to animal rights and welfare groups as well as the public's attitude towards the use of tigers, elephants and other species in circus shows.
It appears Ireland has become the latest country to introduce a ban against using them in any type of show. Circuses across Ireland will have until the end of the year to find a suitable place for its wild animals, as the new rule comes into effect on January 1.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has released a statement, saying: "The use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in circuses can no longer be permitted. This is the general view of the public at large and a position I am happy to endorse.
"This is a progressive move, reflective of our commitment to animal welfare. I am of course allowing a modest lead in period to allow for alternative arrangements to be made for the animals in question."
Mr Creed recognises the idea that some people base their life and their income out of shows like these, but he says using animals in this way is no longer a 'tenable proposition'.
The statement adds: "While the retirement of the small numbers of wild animals in Irish circuses might seem like a loss, I am confident that this move will do more to secure the future of the circus community.
"Coming in line with modern welfare standards will mean that greater numbers of the public will be more comfortable with going to the circus."
New York made the same step last month, however the ban doesn't take effect until 2019. Animal right charities had long called for the banning of elephants in entertainment acts saying that the animals are often treated cruelly by circus trainers.
Campaign groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), were quick to praise New York's decision, calling it a 'victory' for animals.
Scotland could become the next place to ban circus animals after a MSPs unanimously signed off on a bill. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said it was 'morally objectionable' to use animals for entertainment.
However, circus leaders claim such a ban could mean zoos would be included under the same ban and would have to close. The bill has moved to a committee stage where amendments could be proposed.
Featured Image Credit: PA