The infamous “live crib” which involves live farmed animals in a Christmas nativity setting is returning at the Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland, despite animal rights groups protesting last year which led to moving it elsewhere. On 13th November 2023, Lord Mayor Daithi de Roiste confirmed the crib’s return to the Mansion House in a matter of weeks, where animals will be kept in small spaces and shown to the public like a Christmas-themed petty zoo.

The traditional blessing of the Live Animal Crib will take place on 6th December with support from the Lord Mayor, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).

Laura Broxson, spokesperson for the vegan Irish organisation National Animal Rights Association (NARA), said this about the farm animals exploited this way, “They are transported to and from Dublin every day, and on top of that, are forced to endure noise, lights and the endless gaze of people. No one could find this an acceptable way to celebrate Christmas, and no one could find this a truthful portrayal of Irish farming either.”

Councillor Mannix Flynn is one of the politicians who also protested, and he told Dublin Live, “I think it is inappropriate to have live animals in the crib in this day and age, to have them on a display for Christmas in the middle of the city centre. There’s simply no need for the crib. People are not stomping their feet and demanding the live crib is brought back, this is a changing Ireland. I don’t believe it is cruel although I do think there is an exploitation of the animals… Last year it was a farce, the Junior Minister brought the live crib to St Stephen’s Green. I think it would be better to do it in the Phoenix Park, to have the animals in their natural environment. Penning the animals is not appropriate. Many people are dismayed by the news that the Live Animal Crib is back. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.