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Animal Circuses News

Find below local Australian news and other circus related stories. These stories are sourced from external newspapers, government websites, and other third parties. All care is taken to ensure the accuracy. Please refer to the source (listed with each story) for further information.

* SPECIAL MENTION: Thank you to Amber Hall for all her hard work in getting this ban in place!

Lismore City Council will send a clear message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated in the shire after they voted 7/3 to ban animal circuses from Council-owned land.

In an impassioned speech to his notice of motion on Tuesday night, Cr Gianpiero Battista said it was a question of how “we want to portray ourselves in the future”.

“We are looking at adopting a shire-wide plan for the koala. In terms of image for Council it doesn’t make sense that we then allow other animals to come to Lismore in cages,” Cr Battista said. “It is very unnatural. It is not natural for tigers, lions, elephants to live in very limited spaces.

“There is no need to have animals for our entertainment. The Moscow Circus has no animals, the Cirque du Soleil is very good entertainment without animals, using people and light and sound.

“Imagine if other countries had koalas jumping in and out of hoops – we’d do something.

“Elephants, lions and tigers are protected species. We can do something about this. We can send a message that circuses that use animals are not welcome in Lismore.”

Earlier in public access time animal activist and law student Amber Hall told councillors the issue of animals in circuses was at “the heart of our morality” and gave a vivid description of the conditions in which the animals are procured and kept.

“Elephants are taken from their mothers’ teats in the wild. Often their families are slaughtered to get to the baby,” Ms Hall said.

“We have the power to make policy and courts do and can listen.

“I’m not naive enough to think we can change the world but we do have the power to influence the decisions of people in our community.

“Cruelty degrades humankind. With every single decision we make or fail to make we influence the world. Constantly transporting animals in small cages is cruel and it’s wrong.”

Ms Hall said 38 councils across Australia had bylaws banning animal circuses and they were no longer allowed in the ACT.

Cr Peter Graham said a similar motion had been put to Council a year ago and he hoped this one was headed for similar defeat.

“Just banning circuses from Council-owned land pushes them on to private land. It gives a half-hearted message,” he said. “People have the power of choice. If circuses are to survive then they have to do the right thing.

“Some people like the opportunity to see elephants jump*, tigers jump through hoops or someone put their head in a lion’s mouth.

“If circuses are to survive they need finance and if they do the right thing people will attend.

“I have big concerns that if we start down this track what next? Are we going to ban the snake show at our local shows because the snakes are handled on hooks? If we see someone with a dog pulling on a lead are we going to say ‘that’s cruel, you have to let him go’?

“What would [TV vet] Dr Harry say? He can’t come to Lismore with another cat show.”

Cr Simon Clough said animal circuses were an anachronism and, with access to beautifully-filmed nature documentaries, people didn’t need animal circuses as a form of entertainment.

“Choice is not just what humans choose but what about the animals? What choice do they have about spending their whole lives in prison and being trained in ways we now know are cruel and quite barbaric?” Cr Clough said. “We should, as a community, take leadership here and say no to animal circuses.”

Cr Neil Marks presented a thin-edge-of-the-wedge argument and pointed out all sorts of animals are used for human entertainment.

“Greyhounds; horses are kept in very small enclosures at the race track and for dressage; are we going to ban bull-riding from our area as well?” Cr Marks asked. “Will chooks be next? What about pigeon fanciers?

“We should accept some people want to see circuses and let people see animal entertainment if they want to.”

Cr Graham Meineke suggested some people might see Lismore City Council as a circus.

Cr Isaac Smith pointed out there was a big difference between a lion and a horse.

“You can’t just throw a lion into a backyard or spell it in a paddock,” Cr Smith said.

In his right of reply Cr Battista appealed directly to Cr Marks as a new parent.

“You have a little baby boy; you’re going to quietly watch Nemo and The Lion King with him and he’ll see animals looking proud in their natural environment, then you’re going to take him to the circus and watch animals perform? What kind of educational tool is that? How are you going to teach him to respect animals and their rights?” Cr Battista said. “There are things that have been done in the past that aren’t right and it’s time to change them.”

Cr Smith pointed out The Lion King was a singing lion and perhaps an unlikely example of realistic wildlife.

Eventually, Council rolled up and voted 6/3 (Crs Meineke, Marks and Graham against, Chant absent) to bring down the big top.

* Elephants actually can’t jump because of their physical dimensions.

Story by Rudi Maxwell.
An elephant is forced to stand on its head at a circus. Photo courtesy of animalcircuses.com and the Captive Animals’ Protection Society.

PETA exposes Ringling Bros Cruelty

Thanks to PETA's ongoing campaign against documented appalling abuse of elephants in Ringling Bros Circus - 'the saddest show on earth' as PETA rightly calls it - the largest circus in the US has been compelled to answer charges for routinely beating elephants with bullhooks. (PETA has videotaped lame elephants limping out of Ringling's train cars.)
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Bolivia first country in the world to ban wild and domestic animals from travelling circuses

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is delighted that Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has signed a new law to end the use of wild and domestic animals in travelling circuses.
Source: Animal Defenders website
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Source: x
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Time to end this exotic circus farce

A LION sits looking forlorn in a cage while its companions pace up and down, menaced by dogs teasing them outside their enclosure.
Source: Daily Telegraph
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Brazil states proceed with bans

GREAT NEWS - BRAZIL BEGINS BAN ON ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES! Brazil continues to push forward, making sanctuary here more needed than ever. The state of Goias just banned the use of animals in circuses making it the 11th out of 26 states in Brazil to pass such a ban.
Source: x
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Honduras bans all animals from circuses

GREAT NEWS from Honduras - November, 2015. Banning ALL animals from circuses.
Source: x
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Ipswich City Council Bans Circuses with Exotic Animals

Local councillor Paul Tully said the council had voted 6:5 to support a ban, making Ipswich the first council in Queensland to outlaw circuses with exotic animals.
Source: Animals Australia
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Lismore Council cracks the whip on circuses

Lismore City Council will send a clear message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated in the shire after they voted 6/3 to ban animal circuses from Council-owned land.
Source: The Northern Rivers Echo
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Circus elephant in the middle of jumbo row

A jumbo-sized dispute has broken out over the living conditions of New Zealand's only circus elephant.
Source: stuff.co.nz
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Driver dies as bus hits escaped circus elephant

A BUS has crashed into an escaped circus elephant on a highway in Mexico, killing both the vehicle's driver and the unfortunate animal.
Source: news.com.au
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60 Minutes - The Sanctuary

They're remarkable creatures. Social, intelligent, at times, very human. And just like humans, elephants experience many complex emotions. Which makes our heartless treatment of these beautiful animals all the more confounding. Hunting them to extinction, forcing them to perform in circuses, locking them up in zoos.
Source: 60 Minutes
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Auckland City Council applauded for Rodeo Ban

Rodeos are no longer welcome in New Zealand’s largest city.
Source: Animal Circuses
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Protestors urge city council to ban circus

AN animal welfare group have urged Derry City Council to consider banning animal circuses from performing in the city.
Source: Londonderry Sentinel
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Music Video made about Topsy the Elephant who was purposely electrocuted to death

Award winning Australian animator makes a music video about the tragic story of Topsy The Circus Elephant who was deliberately electrocuted in 1903.
Source: email
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Elephant, camels freed with Jaws of Life

What animals have to endure for our entertainment: Three circus animals had to be rescued by volunteer firefighters after the transport truck carrying them overturned.
Source: CTV.ca
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Circus Lawsuit Moves Forward

Animal activists have a new reason to complain about how the circus treats its elephants and other animals. A federal judge says the animal groups can now move forward with a blockbuster lawsuit. Click here to hear an interview
Source: George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter
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CAMDEN Circuses face exotic animal ban

CAMDEN Deputy Mayor Cindy Cagney will ask the council to seek a report on banning from the area circuses using wild and exotic animals.
Source: Macarthur Chronicle
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ADI: Peru set to lead South America with animal circus ban

A year after launching a devastating exposé of the treatment of animals in circuses in South America, Animal Defenders International (ADI) stands on the brink of securing legislation to end this shocking abuse in Peru and Bolivia.
Source: Politics.co.uk
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Elephant kills three in India temple rampage

A WOMAN was among three people killed as an elephant ran amok at a temple.
Source: Daily Telegraph
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Circus Whitewash

The British government's failure to end cruelty to circus animals makes a mockery of the Animal Welfare Act
Source: The Guardian
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ASPCA demands cancellation of TV’S Greatest Show on Earth

The ASPCA has urged Turner Network Television (TNT) to immediately cancel Greatest Show on Earth, its upcoming series that touts a “behind-the-scenes” look at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Source: ASPCA www.aspca.org
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Stardust Circus Trainer killed by elephant

Forensic evidence shows that Arna the Circus Elephant crushed a worker to death.
Source: news.com.au (Daily Telegraph)
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Cork City Council against Animal Circuses

Cork City Council passes a motion to BAN animal act circuses from using council land
Source: Animal Rights Action Network (www.aran.ie)
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ARNA and Gigi to be retired to Western Plains Zoo

Arna and Gigi are leaving Stardust Circus and living out the rest of their lives in peace at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Source: www.zoo.nsw.gov.au (Taronga Zoo)
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No Ban for Port Stephens

Port Stephens Council voted 4-7 against the ban on circuses with exotic animals.
Source: Port Stephens Examiner
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Animal Circus Ban in Fingal

Fingal County Council supports the ban of circuses which use wild animals
Source: Independent.ie National News
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Lion Tamer Mauled

THREE lions attacked their trainer in front of a packed family audience at a Lennon Bros Circus show at Penrith
Source: Rod Smith, www.news.com.au, circuswatchwa.org
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