Animals can no longer be used for entertainment at the Tilburg fair. This was decided by the Tilburg city council on Monday evening. The Party for the Animals (PvdD) had submitted a motion with six other parties to ban animals from the fair. The warm summers in particular are increasingly causing heat stress, which is bad for animal welfare.
The ban on animals at the fair means an end to pony rides, a tradition many children in Tilburg grew up with. Muizenstad (The city of mice) is no longer allowed at the fair either. Muizenstad left the Tilburg fair in 2019 because of a video on YouTube. The video showed animal activists questioning the suitability of the environment for the mice during the extremely hot summer. As a result, the mice were no longer allowed at the fair.
A local party (LST) and a few other political parties are against the ban on animals at the fair. According to LST, the ponies are well cared for at the fair and banning animals from the fair is “the height of folly”. Another party jokingly hoped that an fairground ride called ‘The caterpillar’ could remain.
Contract until 2024
VVD alderman Maarten van Asten does not agree with the motion, but is carrying it out because of the council majority. He does think that the municipality of Tilburg should adhere to the contracts that are still running with pony fair operators. These will run until 2024. He also notes that the operator who keeps ponies at the fair already left them at home during a number of warm summers.
Research into animal welfare
The city council will also investigate whether a ban on using animals for entertainment can be included in the events policy. The Party for the Animals would like to see that no animals are used at all during events in Tilburg. However, they then would need to reconsider Sinterklaas’s horse and the sheep in the nativity scene. The city council does not want to go that far, but they will investigate whether a ban is possible in the long term.
Eindhoven News translator: Louise