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Animal Circuses

Help Pull Strings to Stop Circus Cruelty!
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Help Pull Strings to Stop Circus Cruelty!

Posted 16 March 2011   by         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: animal circuses, exotic animals, entertainment, posters, petition, activism

Roll up! Roll up! The circus is in town! Come along to stare at the bearded lady, marvel at the amazing acrobats on the highwire, laugh at the clowns and cry when you see the miserable performing monkeys, lions, tigers and bears ... oh my! Stop! The show mustn't go on!

tiger-animal-circus-ad-LAV.jpg

How great is this clever ad by Italian animal rights group, the LAV? Just like a puppet on a string, an animal in a circus is forced to perform whether he wants to or not. And I bet he'd rather not. I mean, who would want to sit in a tiny barren enclosure, only to be let out to perform ridiculously humiliating 'tricks' that he would never do in the wild?

Travelling between towns is no fun for him either - cooped up for days on end in the back of trains or trucks. It's no surprise that many animals kept this way develop worrying habits like pacing, swaying, or biting the cage bars.

We want to see cruel animal circuses go the way of the dinosaurs, and we're starting with New South Wales! Animals Australia, together with Animals Asia and RSPCA NSW want the whole state to get rid of this outdated practice (I refuse to use the word 'entertainment').

If you're in NSW, you can help! Print out this petition and get it chock full of signatures and send it back by May 1st. It's going straight to the top to be tabled in the NSW parliament by the Lord Mayor of Sydney!

Councils like Ku-Ring-Gai and Lismore in NSW and Ipswich and Gold Coast in QLD have already banned circuses with exotic animals so we know it can be done! Once you've done your part, click here to let us know!

Not in NSW? You can still help by taking the pledge to end circus cruelty. Ask your local council to ban animal circuses or write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Animal cruelty is just not entertaining. What would you rather see in a circus?

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Saigon Still on the Road :(

Saigon Still on the Road :(

Posted 14 March 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 17 Comments

Tags: Saigon, exotic animals, animal circuses, elephants, entertainment, Perry Bros Circus

Unfortunately, the good news for Australia's last circus elephant was short lived. Despite a huge public plea to retire Saigon, and despite advising Animals Australia that they would take her home after their last string of shows, Perry Bros have now announced on their website that they will be carting Saigon off to Bayswater for their next set of shows.

After 50 years on the road, Saigon deserves a better life than to spend another month locked in a small barren enclosure, with traffic rushing by and a shopping centre for a view.

And so Animals Australia's campaign to free Australia's last circus elephant must be taken to the next level, and all options will be considered including: public advertising, demonstrations, and pressure on the government of VIC to catch up to other states and ban circuses from keeping solitary elephants.

If you haven't signed the petition to 'Free Saigon' yet, please take this opportunity to add your name. If you have, then please print out a copy and get all your friends to sign as well (and then post the sheets back to the office: 37 O'Connell st, North Melbourne, VIC 3051).

Thanks for your support with this campaign!

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How to Break a Baby Elephant

How to Break a Baby Elephant

Posted 17 December 2009   by Karen         Permalink | 28 Comments

Tags: exotic animals, animal circuses, bull hooks, elephants, entertainment, Ringling Bros.

Animal circuses have long wanted us to believe that exotic animals that are forced to perform under the big top do so because they 'love' to perform. They wanted us to believe that circus animals are well cared for, and learn those unnatural and demeaning 'tricks' through 'reward systems' - and not through violence, and fear of punishment.

But seriously, how DO you get a wild 3.5 tonne animal to abandon its natural behaviours in favour of standing on her head in front of noisy crowds and gawking children? The late former Ringling Bros. elephant handler-turned-whistleblower Sam Haddock shines some light on the 'methods' used to break the spirits of baby elephants at the Ringling "conservation center" (elephant breeding and training centre) in Florida:


See more photos at RinglingBeatsAnimals.com

There is a reason it takes a whistleblower to get these images to the public. Tying up baby elephants, using electric prods and jabbing them with painful 'bull hooks' don't exactly make pretty pictures. Ringling and other animal circuses know that people would refuse to pay to see animals perform if they had any idea what really happens to these animals when the costumes come off and the audience goes home. And if you're hoping it might be any better for animals down under, think again...

John Le Mare, who is the Executive Secretary of the Circus Federation of Australia, claimed earlier this year that "There is no need to have [animals] doing anything other than variations on natural behaviour during play and socialisation". Fooled yet? He then said: "Ringling Bros Circus in the United States, for example, has its own elephant breeding program, and is likely to come up with new techniques for the care and training of many animals over the next year or so. That will push us to have another hard look at what we're doing here and improve animal welfare in Australian circuses even further by adopting some of those practices..."(source)

If Australia is taking animal welfare tips from notorious animal abusers like Ringling, then the future is bleak for the many remaining prisoners of Australia's animal circuses. These animals are relying on us. If you know anyone who attends animal circuses, please show them these pictures! And if you see an animal circus coming to your town, contact your local council immediately and ask them to follow the lead of other caring towns that have stood up to animal abuse and banned exotic animal circuses from performing on their land.

For the elephants <3

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The Show is Over in Portugal
Posted By Jeroen

The Show is Over in Portugal

Posted 22 October 2009   by         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: exotic animals, animal circuses, Portugal, entertainment, victory

Don't you just love culture! It brings the best out of humans. Bullfighting, horse racing, rodeos, fox hunting, pig wrestling, bear baiting, anything goes as long as it is 'culture'!

Another well preserved cultural form of animal cruelty is the animal circus. Ever been to one? I have many times (for work) and it breaks my heart every time to see the animals living in such disgraceful conditions. Elephants chained by two legs most of the day, standing in their own excrement; lions, tigers, monkeys locked in cages where they can do nothing more than walk a few steps.

But this cruel excuse for 'entertainment' is increasingly becoming banned around the world and the latest country to show some progressive thinking is ... Portugal. ... huh? The same Portugal where they still love their bullfights? Yes, that Portugal! After long running campaigns such as this brilliant advertising campaign (see bottom this blog for more of the ads), the Portuguese Prime Minister last week signed a law which immediately bans the use of great apes in circuses and makes it illegal for circuses to breed their exotic animals or acquire new ones. This in effect means that exotic animals in circuses will soon be history in Portugal. Way to go Premiero Ministro!

That might leave you wondering: What's happening in Australia? Well, some councils have finally introduced bans on exotic animal circuses. But state and federal governments are still stuck in the middle ages. In fact, they even promote them on their website, saying: "Australia is a world leader in the care of circus animals". I can assure you the world would be in a pretty sad state if all animals were treated as 'well' as Australian circus animals!

If you've got a moment to spare, you might like to write to your local council, or your local MP to urge them to follow Portugal's compassionate lead and ban animal circuses.

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Ipswich Bans Cruel Animal Circuses

Ipswich Bans Cruel Animal Circuses

Posted 2 July 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: exotic animals, animal circuses, bull hooks, posters, entertainment, victory

Some great news came out of Ipswich this week. Ipswich City Council voted to ban exotic animals from being used in circuses on council land. That makes Ipswich the first council in Queensland to take a stand against cruel animal circuses. Woot!

And it's about time! The lives of wild animals in circuses is the pits. They are tormented and abused to instill fear, so they will perform tricks for the audience. (Have you notice that it's a whip not a reward that they use?) Elephant 'trainers' often use a bullhook (a stick with a sharp metal hook on one end) to control or punish elephants. This hook is dug into senstitive parts of their body such as behind their ears, in their mouth or the bottoms of their feet.

When not performing, these animals, who might wander tens, if not hundreds of kilometers in a day in the wild, are confined in tiny barren cages. They spend months on the road carted from town to town, to be brought out on stage to perform in bright, loud tents for onlookers.

So a big hoorah to Ispwich Council for taking a stand against animal cruelty. Here's hoping a few more councils follow suit. If you have a moment, please write to Ipswich to congratulate them on the ban ([email protected]). And you might even like to write to your own local council and encourage them to ban exotic animal circuses too!

While I'm at it, I thought I'd also share these brilliant campaign posters from a collaboration between two portuguese animal advocacy groups, Aco Animal and Liga Portuguesa dos Direitos do Animal. They really sum it up well:

"Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls for the crack of the whip against the animal's stinging wounds. A big round of applause for the flaming hoops, the injuries and the electric shocks. Come and see the famed number of cages and tightly binding chains allowing no escape from endless training sessions. Laugh, applaud and join in with the repetitive choreographed routines typical of depressed animals under great stress. All the fun of the circus travelling from city to city exhibiting animals as human caricatures. Clowning around that's no fun at all. Animal circuses, don't be part of the show."






(If you're keen to check out some other clever NGO campaigns, I found these at: osocio.org)

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