Camel in a car park Circus says animals 'have best of care'
A circus has been slammed after pictures and videos emerged showing a camel and several other animals being held at a Dublin car park.
Footage on Independent.ie shows Bactrian camel Khalif in the pen alongside the Daredevil Circus tent - currently based beside Charlestown Shopping Centre in Finglas.
He was joined in the 10m x 5m pen by five Shetland ponies and another pony when the footage was captured on yesterday.
Animal Rights Action Network (Aran) spokesman John Carmody has criticised the circus over its treatment of the animals.
"The Daredevil circus is touring Ireland with animals that just don't belong caged, tethered and fenced off so that people can sit for an hour and feel entertained whilst these poor animals suffer," he said.
However, circus general manager James Conway insisted that there is nothing wrong with the living arrangements for their animals.
Asked if he believes it is a suitable location, he said: "Yes 100pc. They're not running loose, they have fresh water, they have fresh hay, fresh saw dust.
"They all have access to water. They all have the best of veterinary care, They are looked after 24 hours a day.
"It's hard trying to defend yourself all the time when you are getting berated left, right and centre."
Asked if he would consider running a circus without animals, Mr Conway responded: "That's not my decision."
He said animal rights campaigners are only a "small minority".
"What about the 400 or 500 people a day who sit in the tent? When we have the zoo every night here people come out to the zoo.
"Every single day, people ask us have we not any more animals. They are not satisfied that we only have camels and ponies. There is a tradition of having elephants and tigers and lions, and people ask us: 'Is that all you have?'
"Last night, we had 500 people in the tent. If people didn't want to see animals they wouldn't come to the circus. Our bookings are flying through the roof; the weekends are full."
Mr Carmody claimed that the popularity of a circus is not justification for treating animals in this fashion.
"These animals don't belong in front of bright lights and loud music, it was never what nature intended," he said.
"To that end Aran calls on the Government to do something pro-active to ensure that circuses with animals become a thing of the past; because for every day we are without this legislation, animals will continue to suffer in this type of pathetic circus confinement."