By Grace Mills

An online petition calling for a ban on animal act circuses in Co. Donegal has gained signatures from across the globe.

Launched on April 20th the online petition features signatures from people in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Poland, the Canary Islands, South Africa and even as far as Australia.

A spokesperson for Donegal Animal Rights told Donegal Now: “The petition is going very well and I would encourage people to sign their name to it.

“There was a very positive response to the protest. Many people have come forward and said that they didn’t relaise the damage that can be done to animals who are kept in an environment like that.

“There are many circuses that do not have animal acts and they are very entertaining and doing well, therefore they should be supported instead. This shows a better example and makes a better role model for children as they are very impressionable and rely on adults to tell them right from wrong. Keeping animals in a circus environment is wrong. There's no way to dress it up. Wrong is wrong.”

Speaking on Animal Welfare in general in Co. Donegal they said: “Animal welfare in Donegal has been progressing very well, particularly since about 2005 when animal welfare in Donegal received an award for progress through the forming of the County Animal Welfare Group in the county. It is the first county in Ireland to have such a group.

“All animals have a representative on the County Animal Welfare Group and much good work has come from that. CAWG consists of local animal welfare charities such as Donegal SPCA, Donegal Pet Rescue, Animals in Need, the ISPCA, and then other animal related groups make up the rest of this group eg., Donegal Animal Rights, Dog Wardens, the Gardaí, the County Council Vet, the Dept of Agriculture, the Parks and Wildlife Rangers, Seal Sanctuary, Oil Birds and others.

“These people meet and discuss issues and help each other out where they can. There is great co-operation. Groups wishing to join are always welcome.”

To date the online petition has gained 157 signatures and 240 Facebook recommendations. The petition is also available in paper format for a more traditional sense of asking people to sign, you can request a paper format by messaging the Donegal SPCA on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donegal-SPCA/374360062582820?ref=ts&fref=ts or by contacting Donegal Animal Rights on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonegalAnimalRights?ref=ts&fref=ts

To sign the online version visit:http://www.petitions24.com/ban_animal_circuses_in_donegal

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