Animals Australia Unleashed
Change the World Who Cares? Videos Take Action! The Animals Community Forum Shop Blog Display
1 2 3
Your E-Mail: O Password:
Login Help     |     Join for Free!     |     Hide This

Blog

Circuses

Surf Coast Shire proposes ban on cruel animal circuses!

Surf Coast Shire proposes ban on cruel animal circuses!

Posted 30 May 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: circuses, elephants, entertainment, good news, exotic animals

The good news for animals is rolling in thick and fast lately! And the latest is that Surf Coast Shire Council has proposed a ban on circuses with caged exotic animals from performing in their local area :) This will make them the 36th council in Australia to take a stand against cruel animal circuses!

And good on them because animal circuses stink! (In more ways than one.) The life of a tiger or an elephant in a circus is a crappy one. They'll spend most of their time confined to small enclosures, often in isolation, being trucked around from place to place. What's more they can even be abused to get them to perform unnatural tricks. It's just not cool.

One of the Surf Coast Shire Councillors said that the local community was outraged about the treatment of a circus elephant in Torquay several years ago. The elephant was tied to a pole in extreme heat, and was seen swaying back and forth – a sign of psychological distress.

520-circuselephant.jpg

We had animal circuses come to town regularly where I grew up and I was always horrified to see elephants and tigers tied up or locked in cages in my neighbourhood. But back then I didn't realise that it was up to each individual council to decide whether or not animal circuses can set up tent on council land. So if you care about animals, and you're living in a place that still allows animal circuses to perform, you're in a unique position to be a strong voice for animals still forced to perform!

If you want your local council to be next to ban animal circuses send them an email today and explain to them why you think keeping animals in cages and making them perform for 'entertainment' is cruel and unnecessary. Click here to find contact details for your local council.

The other good news is that no matter where you live you can help make a difference for animals simply by deciding never to attend a circus which exploits animals for entertainment.

520-tigerpledge.jpg

View 5 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Lion cubs spared from the circus!

Lion cubs spared from the circus!

Posted 23 February 2012   by Jane         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: Circuses, lions, activism, exotic animals, entertainment

Right, it's confirmed - Animals Australia Unleashed members are the best ever!

Thanks to stacks of emails sent by you guys to Darling Downs Zoo, two innocent little lion cubs have been spared the cruelty of a life in a travelling circus!

When our big sis Animals Australia broke this story last month, you helped us make it spread like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter and eventually the owners of the cubs listened to the community's views and did the right thing.

Had the original plan gone through, adorable Spike and gorgeous Spot would have faced a life on the road in a small boring enclosure without any opportunity to act like lions.

I'm sure you're as thrilled as we are, and this really goes to show just what can be achieved through PEOPLE POWER!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, two older lions have just been rescued from a French Circus and are settling in at a Wildlife Park in the UK. Brutus and Clarence are now learning how to be lions again - something that, thanks to you, Spike & Spot may never have to do.

Don't forget to take the pledge to help end circus cruelty by clicking here!

View 1 Comment   |   Post a Comment   |   

Brits Score a Win for Circus Animals!

Brits Score a Win for Circus Animals!

Posted 29 June 2011   by Jane         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: circuses, exotic animals, victory, England, entertainment

Have you heard the good news? Last week British MPs voted to ban exotic animals from circuses from next year! Hip Hooray!

Facing opposition as fierce as a lion's roar from the British Prime Minister, the people power of the backbenchers won out in the end, with a unanimous vote to end circus cruelty.

Just why the PM was trying to block a ban is a mystery. After all, animals in circuses live a pretty depressing life; being carted across country in small barren travelling cages, being forced to live in tiny enclosures when the circus is in town. Often these animals revert to swaying from side to side or biting the bars of their cages - behaviour that signals stress and boredom.

The circus life is a far cry from their natural habitat, and gives wild animals virtually zero chance of expressing their natural behaviours. So it's a good thing the pollies in the UK seem to be on the ball (and not a balancing ball!).

England will follow progressive countries like Portugal and Bolivia in banning exotic animals from circuses. In Australia, several councils have imposed their own bans while they wait for the federal government here to catch up. Ipswich, Ku-Ring-Gai and the Gold Coast are just a few of the councils that would rather see truly talented acrobats performing tricks than miserable monkeys or tormented tigers.

Hands down, the best circus I have ever seen is Cirque Du Soleil and not one animal in sight! They're gonna be around next month, and I highly recommend you check them out. But if you can't see one of those shows you can still pledge to protect animals from circuses and only attend animal-friendly circuses. You could even write to your local council and ask them to join the growing list of animal-free circus destinations.

What's the best circus you've ever seen? Or, the worst?

View 6 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Help Pull Strings to Stop Circus Cruelty!

Help Pull Strings to Stop Circus Cruelty!

Posted 16 March 2011   by Jane         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?

View 8 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

It's Good News Week!!

It's Good News Week!!

Posted 10 November 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: Victory, possums, pigs, coles, circuses

This has been an AWESOME week for animal victories! And what makes these wins that much sweeter is that they wouldn't have happened without us! That is Unleashed members like YOU!

First we found out that the brutal plan to trap, transport and slaughter Tasmanian possums at a notoriously cruel abattoir has been rejected by the federal Environment Minister. Tony Burke couldn't ignore over 500 emails from us outlining that there would be no way to carry that out humanely. Now no possum has to face the shear terror of a slaughterhouse for the export market!

Next up, Coles announced that they will phase out any products from piggeries using sow stalls from their own range of pork, ham and bacon (side-note -- yuck!). This means that by 2014, Coles won't be supporting any pig farmer who, cruelly yet legally, confines mother pigs in cages barely bigger than their bodies while they are pregnant. Less pigs trapped in sow stalls means more pigs with space to do simple things like turn around. There's still a long way to go before Coles can call themselves cruelty-free, but these changes are coming about through pressure from consumers (and of course from gorgeous Lucy Pig!).

And finally, last night the Ku-Ring-Gai Council voted 7-3 to ban cruel exotic animal circuses! This ban was actually already in place until the circus industry applied enough pressure for the council to backflip in August and overturn the ban. This outraged the public, but one thing Unleashed members know how to do is make their voices heard. Thousands of signatures on the Animals Australia online petition -- or as I like to call it -- the deafening roar, convinced councillors that lions (and tigers, and monkeys...) don't belong in the circus!

I just have to say thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the incredible Unleashed members that have played a massive part in improving the lives of these beautiful, innocent animals.

We are their voice -- this shows how powerful we are when we speak up!

View 8 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Circus Has to Swallow Goldfish Ban

Circus Has to Swallow Goldfish Ban

Posted 9 September 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: victory, circuses, fish, Animals Australia, exotic animals, video

When you think of animals in circuses, what comes to mind? ... Elephants, lions, monkeys, goldfish ... hold up! ... goldfish?

Yes, you read right - goldfish. The Moscow circus was this week banned from performing an act in which a woman swallowed 3 live goldfish and then regurgitated them, after Animals Australia reported the act to the NSW Govt.

It's bad enough that elephants and other exotic animals suffer miserable cramped and inadequate lives in circuses, but how could anyone imagine that swallowing a live animal would make for wholesome family entertainment? Mind you, if you ask me, swallowing dead animals at the dinner table hardly makes for a wholesome family activity either.

Anyway, if you're thinking "But they're just goldfish, don't they have a 3 second memory?", then to dispell this myth I'll refer you to that amazing fountain of knowledge that is Japanese Novelty TV:

I bet you didn't expect to see synchronised swimming goldfish when you woke up this morning ;)

View 15 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Kangaroos Should Not be Boxed In!

Kangaroos Should Not be Boxed In!

Posted 2 August 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: entertainment, kangaroos, boxing, Texas, rant, circuses

When I think of boxing kangaroos I think of enormous male red roos, fighting each other in truly awe inspiring displays of dominance.

Unfortunately, the words 'boxing kangaroo' make too many people think of the cartoonish image of a roo wearing boxing gloves. In Texas, the Rocky Show Circus has taken this image way too far, by not only making a real kangaroo wear boxing gloves, but also boxing shorts, and then forcing him into an actual boxing ring to spar with people. How demeaning to such a magnificent animal!

Long suffering 'Rocky' the roo, frightened audiences recently by knocking over a woman, crazy enough to get in the ring with him, before trying to mount her. In one news article about the incident, an expert said that Rocky was displaying 'natural' behaviour!

Hmph! If you ask me, there is absolutely nothing natural about a rambunctious roo being kept in captivity! Kangaroos are highly social animals but Rocky never even gets to lay eyes on another hopper. Roos are also shy by nature, yet Rocky is expected to box strangers in front of a crowd. Rocky could reach speeds of up to 70km/hr in the wild, but in this farcical circus, his muscular hind legs, adapted for marvellous jumping, are wasted because of his restrictive environment. It's no surprise that he's showing some frustration.

Too many animals used for human entertainment display abnormal behaviours. A beautiful elephant rocking back and forth in boredom; a massive killer whale swimming round and round in circles in his tank; a caged bird, never allowed to fly, pulling out her feathers ... You get the idea.

Rocky should be in a mob happily bounding around the open plains of Australia. Not wearing a costume in a boxing ring in Texas!

Once you get past the many spelling mistakes on their website, I'm sure you'll agree the Rocky Show Circus actually looks way more exciting when Rocky isn't even on stage! Please click here to send the organisers a message to let them know their circus would be so much better if they cut out the cruelty, and binned the boxing!

View 9 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Why Dolphins Were Never Meant to Be Locked Up

Why Dolphins Were Never Meant to Be Locked Up

Posted 27 July 2010   by Sim         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: dolpins, whales, Sea World, entertainment, circuses, The Cove

A couple of weeks ago, in Japan, Kuru the dolphin jumped out of her tank during a show at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Former dolphin trainer (from Flipper) turned dolphin advocate and star of The Cove, Ric O'Barry has said "The habitat of that [dolphin] is so unnatural it leapt out of the tank in desperation. It wanted to end it. Why does a person jump out of a building?" Ric may have a point.

While this footage is shocking, it must be a common enough occurrence, since the handlers keep mats around the aquarium's edge to minimise injury when the animals do this exact thing! And why wouldn't she want out?

Each year thousands of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) are captured from the wild and placed into small tanks in 'Sea Worlds' around the globe. The animals are then taught to perform tricks for human entertainment. Basically its a circus for cetaceans. But most people never hear about the horrendous conditions these animals are made to endure.

Like other animals in circuses, these animals dont belong in prisons, but that's what many marine parks are. Everything about a whale or dolphin's life in captivity is restrictive. Dolpins and whales swim dozens and in some cases upwards of a hundred kilometres in a day. Yet in captivity their tanks are often so small that it only takes them a few seconds to swim from end to end. Many of these highly social animals are kept in solitary confinement. And for animals that rely on sonar, their small tanks must be like deafening echo-chambers.

To combat stress related ulcers and 'behavioural problems' these animals are often fed a cocktail of antibiotics and other drugs. Even still, most dolphins in captivity don't live to 20 years (less than half of their natural lifespan), and most orca whales, who could live to be 90+ in the wild, don't live past 10 years of age in captivity.

So it would come as little surprise if Kuru was hoping to end it the other week.

I'm sure you'd agree that locking any animal in a tiny enclosure and forcing them to perform tricks is cruel. Kuru and her cetacean buddies deserve a better life. Just like animal circuses, the strongest message we can send to marine parks with animal performances is simply not to visit them. We can all make a difference and give animals a better life.

What do you think about what happened with Kuru?

View 9 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Children of All Ages Delighted by Enslavement of Topsy the Elephant

Children of All Ages Delighted by Enslavement of Topsy the Elephant

Posted 4 June 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: circuses, exotic animals, The Onion, funny, elephants, entertainment

I still remember being taken to the circus as a kid. One of the things I remember most about the circus were the elephants. I remember how they were dressed up with cloaks and head-dresses. I remember they even put glitter on them! I also remember how those gentle giants performed the cutest tricks (or at least I thought so at the time) with just a small tap on the side from their trainer.

Something I never realised at the time was that those elephants were performing such unnatural and awkward tricks because they had spent countless hours in 'training', being beaten with a hook if they refused to perform. I also never realised till years later, that the glitter that made the elephants all the more spectacular when I was a child was probably hiding 'training' wounds.

Is there any bigger facade than animal circuses? Children watch in innocent amazement as wild animals are dressed up and tormented for their entertainment. I wish I'd known the truth then. I never would have gone along with it.

So yesterday, I was glad to read the headline "Children of All Ages Delighted by Enslavement of Topsy the Elephant" on the front page of the satirical news site, The Onion. This story is at the same time shocking, hilarious and spot on. It's well worth a read...

Here are a few of the best snippets from the article:

"He's such a funny happy elephant," said 8-year-old Madison Helms, referring to the abused creature that spends the majority of his time chained up in a cramped, feces-covered enclosure. "He loves being in the circus!"

"Look, they're dancing," said 5-year-old Jonah Meeks, mistaking the elephants' constant swaying for something that wasn't a maladaptive behavior caused by serious psychological trauma. "I can dance like an elephant, too. Look at me!"

View 7 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

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!

View 17 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

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

View 28 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

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.

View 7 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

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 (council@ipswich.qld.gov.au). 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)

View 9 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Next: How Much is a Fur Coat Worth? »

Recent Posts
Recently Commented Posts
More Stuff
Archives:

RSSSubscribe to Blog Feed

Disclaimer:
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.