Animal Circuses

Animals don’t belong in circuses - a fact which should be obvious to most people. But sadly, hundreds of animals continue to be held captive in these travelling menageries every year.

Animals are abused and beaten into submission. Through fear, they are forced to perform unnecessary acts.

Thankfully, on 1st January 2018, the use of wild animals in circuses was banned in Ireland. Although this is a great step, domesticated animals such as horses, dogs, goats, llamas and birds are sadly still permitted to be used in Irish circuses.

Examples of unnatural tricks these animals are forced to perform would be the common ‘dancing horses’ act, in which horses are made stand up on their hind legs and walk, as if they are dancing to the music.

This is not something a horse would do in the wild, and not something they can do easily or willingly. They are abused and beaten into submission, and through fear are forced to perform unnecessary acts. The same applies to every other species used in animal circuses.

All for the entertainment of people

Circus animals, who in the wild would spend the majority of their days travelling and exploring new areas, spend 22 hours a day locked up in cages and pens so small, that they barely have room to turn around. This, coupled with their constant state of fear leads them to exhibit the stereotypical psychosis found in all captive animals. They self-mutilate and display repetitive behaviour, such as swaying back and forth.

Dogs, like all other animals, don’t belong in circuses. Though they are domesticated animals, it does not mean that they enjoy performing, nor does it mean they give their consent to. They are still trained through fear, intimidation and abuse, and at the end of the day they are still caged and alone when the ‘show’ is over. Is this the life you would like for your companion animal? Of course not!

Animal circuses should be a thing of the past. The animals wouldn’t be suffering if people weren’t still paying for it to continue. By attending these ‘shows’, you are directly responsible for letting this cruelty exist.

Please help us make sure animal circuses are a thing of the past, join the campaign!

Boycott The Circus

The use of animals in circuses has come under increasing criticism around the world. In some countries, including Austria, Israel and Singapore, governments have banned the use of wild animals in performances, and there are active calls for similar bans in many other countries.

You can help these animals and take a stand against cruelty. Contact us for more information!

Irish Circuses

Two exposés on animal circuses in Ireland, done by ‘Freedom for Animals’ formerly known as the ‘Captive Animals Protection Society’.

Freedom for Animals

A group that takes action to end the captivity of animals, especially those used for entertaining the public in zoos, circuses and the media industry.

Stop Circus Suffering

So, what are we doing about it?


Even though the use of wild animals in circuses was banned in January 2018, domesticated animals are still being used in circuses all over Ireland every year. We organise protests regularly, especially when these circuses are in Dublin. If you spot any in your area, please let us know so we can do something about it! If you'd like to organise a protest yourself, let us know and we will, at the very least, provide you with the materials you need.


Leafleting an area prior to the arrival of an animal circus is a great way of making sure they don't get customers. A lot of people assume that in this day and age, the use of animals in circuses are a thing of the past - and unwittingly attend a show, only to be horrified afterwards. Would you like to us to leaflet your area? Or would you like your own leaflet pack? Contact us now!


Pressure still needs to be put on the Irish government to outlaw the use of ALL animals in circuses. Contacting local county councils is also a great way of making sure a circus is not allowed set up on council-owned land. Some councils, such as Fingal County Council, have already banned animal circuses from using their land. With your help, we can get more to do the same! Want a sample letter? Contact us now!

We have various campaigns running at any one time. Please click to learn about more issues!

NARA is a legal, grassroots level organisation that only operates within the law. Information on this website is for the purpose of legal protest and information only. It should not be used to commit any criminal acts or harassment. NARA is not affiliated to any other animal rights group. NARA has no links or involvement with the Animal Liberation Front or the Animal Rights Militia. Any articles published on this web site relating to illegal activities are posted for the sole reason of publishing news related to animal rights, and are not intended to incite or encourage similar acts.

Please feel free to contact us if you want to ask us any questions, report something or get involved.


Please feel free to contact us if you want to ask us any questions, report something or get involved.


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