Clare county councillors have been asked to ban animal circuses from performing on public land.
However, in a statement, the council said they do not issue permits to visiting circuses.
In an open letter to the council, Mullagh resident Betty Fowler said councils in South Dublin, Monaghan, Wicklow, Waterford, Drogheda and Clonakilty have already banned animal circuses from performing locally.
“Animals are being caged, transported and made to perform in unnatural ways for the fun and amusement of people. Animals are not on this planet for human entertainment. It distresses me to see circuses like this being given permission to tour this misery around Clare and Ireland,” her letter read.
“I am calling on you, as our public representative, to put forward and vote to pass a motion to ban animal circuses on public land in Clare and I look forward to hearing back from you,” Ms Fowler wrote.
Independent councillor Christy Curtin said councillors will consider Ms Fowler’s request. However, he maintains that local “culture” must also be protected.
“I think we can’t interfere with our native culture but, at the same time, we have to respect animal life and the welfare of animals. We will give this suggestion full consideration but we must take everything in context and the culture of Ireland has to be protected. But, as I said, the welfare of animals has to be paramount.”
“There are plenty of good human circuses and I don’t think they need animals anymore,” Becky Fowler added, when speaking to The Clare Champion on Wednesday.
In a statement this week, Clare County Council said a council motion would have little impact, as circuses do not need a licence from the local authority.
“Circuses are an exempted development under the planning acts, on the basis that they are there no longer than 15 or 30 days in any year and land must be restored. There are no permits required from the local authority to operate a circus, although, obviously, the chosen site would have to have regard to traffic and other safety issues,” the statement read.
“It is difficult to see how a motion, as proposed, if passed, could be enforced, as circuses often take place on private property. The only effect of the motion would be to prevent circuses on land owned by the council. Animal welfare issues are not under the statutory remit of the council,” the statement added.