Gilders – you go tiger!

6 10 2008

Peter Weir asked the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development ‘what plans her Department has to ban the use of animals in circuses’.

All right, easy to shrug the shoulders and move on. But read her response and check out the amount of care and attention Gilders has lavished on the issue.

  1. The Minister’s officials consulted on proposals for new animal welfare legislation in late 2006, including on the need for regulation of circuses.
  2. The Minister made initial consideration of the comments
  3. The Minister met with a number of key stakeholders, including those who have a specific interest in the welfare of circus animals.
  4. The Minister heard their concerns at first hand.
  5. The Minister’s officials are to meet other relevant stakeholders.
  6. The Minister will be looking closely at the outline animal welfare legislative proposals which were published by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) in Dublin in May 2008.
  7. The Minister has asked officials to discuss these proposals in detail when they meet their counterparts in DAFF in October.
  8. The Minister pledges to keep her mind open.

Gilders and the civil servant responsible should be applauded for this comprehensive answer (and immediately handed free tickets to the Australian Circus behind Lidl in Dundonald).

This surely unprecendented 8-point Ministerial response on the question of whether to ban animals in circuses is impressive. So to recap – how did OFMDFM get on with the global financial crisis? Erm…

Well, they can’t meet up with other Ministers to talk about the fiscal fin de siecle moment for Western capitalism, the new American century and the NI economy. But Gilders can make time to meet those who have a specific interest in the welfare of circus animals.

Not sure about the other ministers but my guess is that the DARD Ministerial diary has got lots of space free for a meeting if OFMDFM want to call one. Just a guess, mind.

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