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Why we believe animals should be banned from circuses

  • Regardless of the number of generations that wild animals have been in captivity, captive-born wild animals do not lose the instincts and needs of wild animals. They retain their natural instincts to socialise and to roam freely. Circuses deny captive-born wild animals of their need to exhibit their natural behaviours.
  • Large animals such as elephants, lions and tigers need a large amount of space to be able to move around and to socialise with their own kind. In the wild, elephants may travel 40 kilometres a day, mud bathe and live in social groups. In a circus, elephants are chained or confined to a small space and are only able to stand up, lie down or shuffle a few paces backwards and forwards. Lions and tigers are shut in their beast wagons for over 90% of the time. They, too, need to be able to socialise and roam freely.
  • The RSPCA's greatest concern is the disparity between the conditions imposed on wild animals by circus life and the environment that these animals need for their well-being. Life in the wild cannot be replicated on the back of transportation trucks or at circus sites around the country.
  • The RSPCA's main concerns for circus animals are:
    • Continual transportation.
    • Continual confinement.
    • Unnatural social groups.