Circus blasted for sea lion act

by Gazette Reporter

AN ANIMAL rights charity has said it received a positive response from the north Dublin community following a campaign that was launched against Tom Duffy’s Circus and its use of animals last week.
The Animals Rights Action Network (ARAN) called on the public to avoid going to Duffy’s Circus, and instead to support circuses that do not use animals. The campaign condemned a sea lion act that was part of the Duffy’s circus entertainment over the weekend.
An ARAN spokesperson said: “Until we get Government legislation that will ban the use of animals in circuses, people everywhere need to vote with their feet and refuse to attend such establishments so long as they use animals.
“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.”
Following the circus’ visit to Swords, ARAN said the campaign succeeded in making an impact on the local community.
“We received calls and a number of emails from local people in Swords asking if there was anything they could do. The [circus] reached a new low, using sea lions. It’s not right at any level,” said the spokesperson.
However, responding to the campaign by ARAN, Duffy’s Circus rejected what they described as “unfounded criticism”, and said their animals are not poorly treated.
David Duffy, the circus’s managing director and ringmaster, said: “Here at Duffy’s, we are totally dedicated to the welfare of our animals.There is a vast difference between animal welfare and animal rights.
“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.
“It is well-known that sea lions respond well to captivity. [Our sea lions,] 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 swimming pool to swim and play in,” he said.

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