Council wrong to allow circuses with wild animals
I was appalled to learn that Newtownabbey Borough Council recently elected to accept circuses with wild animals. I have long been very much against this practice, as I believe it is cruel and totally unacceptable in a modern society.
Having been involved in animal welfare for almost 20 years, I am only too aware of the stress caused to animals kept in an alien environment.
Elephants, for example, live in groups and travel for miles every day in their own habitat. To be taken from their family group and transported across continents, to be chained in a tent and forced to perform what are unnatural acts before a cheering, clapping crowd, must be sheer torture for them.
A few years ago, I watched elephants being taken from the circus ring directly into the back of a container lorry.
The tent was being taken down after the performance as the circus was moving on to another venue.
Those animals remained in that lorry all night and probably well into the following day, when the tent was re-erected and they would have been chained up once again until another, for them, torturous performance.
I never took my children to a circus that exploited animals, as I wanted them to respect other species and to understand that we don't have the right to use them in this way.
If we want a decent, compassionate society, it must start with the animals. Those who respect animals will respect their fellow humans.
I sincerely hope that there is some way of reversing this decision and setting a precedent that other councils can follow.