A ban on the use of wild animals in circuses has been announced.
The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed today signed the regulation, which comes into effect in the new year.
The Minister said there was widespread public support for the move, which applies to wild animals such as camels and tigers.
He said it was not tenable for a travelling circus to fully provide for the needs of such animals.
Welcoming the announcement, PETA Elisa Allen said he hopes "this decision prompts other countries - such as England - to follow suit".
"Bravo to Michael Creed for bringing Ireland in line with dozens of other countries including Austria, Belgium, Mexico, and the Netherlands and for showing that England is a poor cousin when it comes to the treatment of animals used in carnivals and circuses," he said.
"Our understanding of animals such as elephants, zebras, and lions are is expanding, and we now know that a circus can never come close to meeting their complex needs.
"They are chronically frustrated, stressed, and depressed from a lifetime of being denied the opportunity to do anything that's natural and important to them, kept caged in trailers that are hauled around the country, and forced to perform confusing tricks under the big top in some Victorian era form of amusement."