Enniskillen circus denies ‘cruelty’ to animals claim

Duffys Circus

Duffy’s Circus has recently opened in Enniskillen

A CIRCUS which has opened in Enniskillen this week have been criticised over their use of sealions as part of the circus’ acts.

 Animal Rights Action Network, ARAN, said that ‘these poor sea lions were never meant for a travelling circus, it’s a sad day if people see nothing wrong with keeping animals in such conditions’.


The group urged the pubic to ‘avoid going to the circus and instead support any other circus that does not use animals’ and is also urging local town officials to introduce a motion to ban animal-act circuses using public land.

The group added that ‘due to constant travelling, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Their welfare is always compromised.’

ARAN said that over 20 countries around the world have now prohibited either all animals or wild animals in circuses, and several more are working on legislation.

However, the circus’ ringmaster and managing director, Declan Duffy, said that the circus are ‘totally dedicated to the welfare of our animals’, and added: “There is a vast difference between animal welfare and animal rights.”

Mr Duffy went on: “Animal rights activists often hold extreme views. They claim that animals have the right to roam free without any interaction with humans, they don’t want to see any animals in circuses or zoos, and some believe we shouldn’t have pets or guide dogs.

“Every right-minded person believes in animal welfare, but for ARAN to claim that our animals suffer is misleading the public and has offended our dedicated team of specialist animal carers.”

“It is well known that sea lions respond well to captivity. Andrew, Ziggy and Nelson are treated extremely well, there is nothing they love more than interacting with humans – this is witnessed daily by our audiences.


“When the sea lions are not performing they have a large outdoor swimming pool to swim and play in as well as an indoor pool.”

He concluded: “The long-term well-being and welfare of all our animals is a top priority at Tom Duffy’s. The traditional circus with animals is a recognised art form in Ireland, supported and funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.

“Our audience numbers grow year on year, last year over 160,000 people came to see our performances and meet our animals, and this year we expect even more.

“Would all these people come if they thought our animals were mistreated in any way?”

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