Stop Using Wild Animals in Circuses

A bear performs on a bike during the opening concert in the new, 2013 season in Ukraine's National Circus in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Target: Mitchel McLaughlin, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Goal: Protect wild animals from the harmful conditions of circus life.

The use of wild animals in circuses is cruel and unnecessary. These animals are robbed of a natural life, confined in traveling cages and forced to perform for audiences. Exploiting wild animals in this way is utterly shameful. Many countries around the world have already made it illegal to use wild animals in circuses. However, the practice still continues in Northern Ireland. It’s time for Mitchel McLaughlin, Speaker for the Northern Ireland Assembly, to formulate a ban on wild animal circuses in his country.

Despite the care and attention that some trainers may give to their animals, the conditions in which these wild creatures are made to live are detrimental to their physical and mental health. Their bodies and their minds are not fit for domestic living, putting them at risk for many long-term health issues. They are also prevented from acting on their most natural instincts. The stress and suffering that this causes for these animals amounts to a form of animal cruelty.

There is no reason to continue using wild animals in circuses. It is unnatural and immoral to make a wild animal live a domestic life, especially one in which they are compelled to perform for human beings. These creatures deserve to live in the wild. They should not be forced to live in cages and perform on stages. Northern Ireland must join the long list of governments which have acted to protect wild animals from the harmful effects of circus life.

By signing the petition below, you can help urge Mitchell McLaughlin to introduce a ban on wild animal circuses for Northern Ireland.


Dear Speaker McLaughlin,

Wild animal circuses are a form of animal cruelty. While many countries all over the world have already banned animal circuses, your country still allows them. There is no excuse for continuing these practices in Northern Ireland. I urge you to formulate a ban on wild animal circuses for your country.

The most caring and attentive trainer cannot make up for the fact that domestic living is harmful to the mental and physical health of wild animals. These creatures are forced to live in cages and to perform for audiences. Such conditions inhibit these wild animals from acting on their natural instincts, causing undue mental and physical stress.

Wild animals should not be coerced into the domestic conditions of circus life. Please act to protect these creatures by banning wild animal circuses in Northern Ireland.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

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  1. Beth Knalfa says:

    This is NOT ENTERTAINMENT, how ridiculously ignorant and cruel. Close this cruelty down and take the animals to approved sanctuary.

  2. Natasha polychuk says:

    sadistic abuse is not fun and family friendly. i went as a kid and hate my stupid parents for that!!!!!!!!!



  4. Gerard FABIANO says:


  5. Lisa Allred Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared. ☹️

  6. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    And then stick around to ensure that the animals aren’t just disposed of.

  7. KatWrangler says:

    The original circus was acrobats – people who chose to perform. Let’s get back to that. Leave animals out of the “entertainment” business.

  8. Ana French says:

    Circuses using animals are obsolete and cruel. They should not be allow to perform. THAT’S ANIMAL ABUSE

  9. These animals are usually stolen as babies from their mothers in the wild and then brought to the U.S. and worldwide to perform ridiculous tricks. Elephants, for instance, are trained by being beaten with bull hooks (a metal apparatus resembling a fireplace poker with a hook on the end) and clubs as well as being whipped and electrocuted. Trainers have been known to burn the bottoms of dancing bears’ feet so, by shifting their weight from foot to foot, the bears appear to dance. Much of the cruelty goes on behind the scenes and spectators to the circus do not see it. At performance time, the trainer then only needs to use the sight of the bull hook or whip and not actually use it in order to “persuade” the animal into performing a trick. Far too often, they are kept from seeing a veterinarian, even when they are having severe physical maladies.

    Besides all of the cruelty that is attached with animal shows, circus-goers are oftentimes given the opportunity to have contact with animals which is absolutely FOOLISH! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elephants, for instance, can carry TUBERCULOSIS and transmit it to the public, even without direct contact. Also, as we have seen numerous times before, animals that have been grossly maltreated end up going berserk and harming and/or killing people. Please do NOT patronize circuses with animals like this one. There are plenty of circuses without animals that are absolutely terrific — I have seen them. Just a few animal-free shows are: Circus of the Kids, Circus Vargas, Imperial Circus, New Shanghai Circus, as well as many others. Thank you for caring!

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