§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what authority local councils in Northern Ireland have to ban animal based circuses from their property. 
§ Angela Smith
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 requires places where circuses (and other types of public entertainment) are to be held to have entertainments licences. The licences are granted by district councils and are subject to certain terms, conditions and restrictions that councils may specify. Councils do not have powers under the 1985 Order to refuse entertainments licences in respect of places where circuses are to be held simply because they involve animals. However, like all landowners, councils can decide whether circuses, or other types of public entertainment, may be held on their properties.