IRISH music manager and former X Factor judge Louis Walsh has written to Michael Creed, Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine urging him to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.
In the letter on behalf of PETA and Irish group Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), Walsh writes that unlike the humans he has worked with in the entertainment business, these animals are forced to dperform – and they do so under the threat of punishment.
Walsh, who managed Irish boybands BoyZone and Westlife, argues that Ireland should follow the lead of other countries such as Austria, Croatia and the Netherlands that have banned circuses that use wild animals.
Walsh has been back in the news recently as a return to British talent show X Factor seems to be on the cards.
Walsh, a long-standing judge on the popular show, was axed last year, when his seat was taken by DJ and personality Nick Grimshaw.
However, 63 year-old Walsh is said to be back in talks with his friend Simon Cowell about a lucrative deal that would see him back on the show this later this.
Read the letter in full here:
I am writing on behalf of my friends at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) to urge you to implement an immediate ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in Ireland. My career has given me a deep appreciation for the determination and talents of human performers. They do what they do because they love to entertain, and the joy it gives them is apparent the minute they come on stage. That is not true for animals who are used in circuses. They don't stand on their heads, ride bicycles or perform other demeaning, often painful tricks willingly. They do so because if they don't, they will be whipped, beaten with a steeltipped bullhook or shocked with an electric prod. That's what they learned from the first day of their training, and intimidation continues to be their motivation. It's vital that Ireland remain in step with other European countries by banning circuses that use wild animals immediately – otherwise, it's like putting out a welcome mat for animal abusers. Because our understanding of elephants, lions and other animals has improved, we now realise that their complex needs cannot be met in a circus environment. Austria, Croatia and the Netherlands are among the many enlightened countries that have banned circuses that use wild animals. Please ensure that Ireland takes its place beside them. Thanks for your consideration.
Yours sincerely, Louis Walsh