Local activists staged a protest outside Tom Duffy’s Circus when it came to town, to oppose the keeping of animals in circuses.
A group of about 15 activists from the Craigavon area stood outside the circus at each of the shows earlier this month, from Monday to Wednesday, holding signs which read, “No excuse for animal abuse.”
A spokesperson for the circus dismissed the group’s claims about their treatment of animals, saying that the animals in Duffy’s circus are ‘very well looked after’.
“The main purpose of our protest was to stand up against animal cruelty,” explained 18-year-old, Niamh Galwey, who was among the activists at the protest.
“There were about 15 of us and we were joined by members of the Facebook group, ‘NI says “no” to Animal Cruelty’.”
Tom Duffy’s Circus is currently touring the country, and has widely advertised its three sea lions as being the biggest stars of the show. Activists have attended many of the circus’ shows, raising their concerns over the housing of animals and the effects of constantly moving them about on tour.
Niamh, along with Richie Duprey and their fellow activists, received a mixed response to their presence at the circus.
“On the Monday night, we got a lot of hassle from visitors, but we just kept our mouths closed, as our purpose was not to stage a violent protest.”
A spokesperson for the circus commented: “These groups have been following us quite a lot. They’re quite insistent that we’re cruel to animals, but our animals are very happy.
“We are happy to have protestors at our shows - they encourage the public to come in and see for themselves how well the animals are treated.”