Animals suffer in circuses. Animals are forced to perform, chained or tethered in cramped enclosures, travelling in wagons - this is daily life in circus touring season. And you can help stop it. Alongside dedicated campaigners, animal lovers and people who just simply know that it is wrong, we have reduced circuses to just a handful in the UK and Ireland. But the fight is not over yet!

Take Action Today!

Many countries around the world have committed to banning animal circuses. But in the UK animals are not free yet!

If you live in Northern Ireland, here’s what you can do:

Contact Edwin Poots, the Minister for Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and ask him to support a ban on animals in circuses.

If you are a constituent you can email: [email protected] or here

If you are not a constituent, you can write to:

Mr Poots
Room 310
Parliament Buildings

But you thought they were already banned?

If you are confused over what is going on in the UK and Ireland with animal circus bans, here’s the latest:


On 20th January 2020, a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses came into force. 

This is a historic victory for animals and the animal rights movement. Thank you to all who campaigned for this over the years!

However domestic animals can still be used in circuses. We must not forget the dogs, cats, horses and other animals who are exploited in the big top. Domestic animals are often confined to small enclosures, and forced to perform unnatural tricks. Order our materials to protest against these cruel circuses!


In 2017 in Wales commissioned a review into the welfare of wild animals in circuses which concluded that they should be banned. They held a public consultation into ‘Mobile Animal Exhibits’ which included a question on a wild animal circus ban. Most respondents stated that they believed the use of wild animals in circuses should be banned and that wild animals cannot be cared for appropriately whilst in a travelling environment.

In July 2020, the Welsh Senedd voted unanimously to ban wild animals in circuses! The ban will come into effect on 1st December 2020.

Sadly, domestic animals will not be covered by this bill so protests will continue!


Scotland banned the use of wild animals in circuses on 28th May 2018 but domestic animals can still be used. The fight goes on!


The Republic of Ireland have also taken the amazing step of banning wild animals in circuses. This came into force in January 2018.

We have carried out three investigations into the use of animals in Irish circuses ensuring the issue was put on the Government agenda - we are so pleased our hard work has paid off!

Domestic animals can still be exploited in circuses in Ireland so protests continue!

Northern Ireland

Although Northern Ireland have indicated in the past that they would take a joined up approach with the Republic of Ireland on animal circuses, it is currently unclear what they will do.

Domestic animals

Frustratingly, all of these bans have excluded domestic animals like horses, goats, dogs and others. Yet we know that these animals suffer too. Long hours on the road in cramped conditions is no life for any animal. They can suffer health problems from being trained to perform unnatural tricks over and over. They can be stressed by the training, the 'performance' in the ring, the bright lights, the loud noises and the crowds. And it is unethical to use animals in this way, as props for entertainment!

So we will continue to protest until ALL animals are free from circuses.

You can help by ordering our campaign materials to distribute, holding a protest outside a circus near you and by letting us know if a circus with animals is coming to your area.

We have come so far for animals, we can't stop yet!