We believe that all animals should be treated with respect and compassion. This is why we campaign for an end to the use of animals in circus performances.
We believe that the use of animals in circus performances is not only damaging to the welfare of those individuals involved but that it also sends a damaging message to the general public, and particularly to children. By presenting animals as performers in the big top, it teaches children that animals can be manipulated for our amusement. It suggests that animals have no right to be treated as individuals who think and feel for themselves. It fails to recognise that animals have their own needs to be met, for their own purposes.
Circuses often travel, meaning that animals are kept in rudimentary housing which cannot meet their most basic welfare needs. Housing for lions might be the back of a lorry. Elephants spend their nights shackled by their legs. Horses and zebra live in makeshift stalls in tents.
Wild animals are forced to perform unnatural tricks. Tigers are made to jump through hoops and elephants taught to stand on their heads. Domesticated animals such as horses are forced to carry numerous people on their backs and perform “dances” which puts dangerous pressure on their joints and ligaments, risking long-term health damage.
Tigers, elephants, horses, dogs and other animals do not choose to join the circus. Please support us in our work to free them from the big top.
Animal Circuses (UK): Our work towards a ban on the use of wild animals in UK circuses [READ MORE]
Ring of Cruelty Ireland II (Investigation): Animal circuses in Ireland in 2012 [READ MORE]
Ring of Cruelty Ireland (Investigation): Animal circuses in Ireland in 2006 [READ MORE]
Visit our CAMPAIGNS page to find out more on our work for animals.
This video, produced in 2010, takes a look at the animal circus industry in Britain. Whilst there are currently no elephants in English circuses, both wild and domesticated animals continue to perform in circuses across the UK and Ireland:
We are committed to continue to campaign until animal circuses are a thing of the past. Please click HERE to join CAPS to support us in our work.