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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.

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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.

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STA Travel says NO to cruel animal attractions

STA Travel says NO to cruel animal attractions

Posted 23 May 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: STA Travel, tourism, exotic animals, good news, elephants, tigers, orcas, SeaWorld

Great news for animals :) STA Travel has stopped booking tours that include THIS;

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THIS;

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OR THIS:

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Yep! STA, a major international travel agent for students and young people, has ditched any tours that go to Tiger Temple, SeaWorld (US) or which include elephant rides. Why? Because animals should be like this;

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this;

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and this:

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Big cats, elephants and orcas have all been known to suffer when kept in captivity and denied a natural environment. An investigation into Tiger Temple revealed that tigers were kept in small cages for 20 hours a day with practically nothing to do. These crappy living conditions meant that many of the tigers suffered severe behavioural problems such as pacing back and forth and chewing their own paws :(

The life of an elephant kept for tourist rides is just as cruel. Elephants in the wild may walk over 40km a day and will form life-long bonds. But captive elephants will be chained for many hours a day and often deprived of social contact with other elephants.

And as for SeaWorld in the US, well imagine living your entire life in a bathtub and you might get an idea of what it's like for an orca in captivity. (I think Jason Biggs expresses his thoughts about this better than I could.) So it probably won't come as a surprise to hear that animals in marine parks can suffer from stress and depression living in captivity. Just recently SeaWorld in Orlando was busted giving anti-anxiety drugs to whales.

Sooooooo... a HUGE high-five to STA Travel for taking a stand for animals and refusing to take part in this cruelty any longer :) This will make a WORLD of difference for animals. You can let STA Travel know how awesome you think they are for leading the way in ethical tourism by leaving a message on their Facebook page.

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Earlier this year, Intrepid Travel also took a stance for animals by taking elephant rides off their travel itinerary :) Want to see other travel companies getting on board the responsible tourism for animals train? Click here to get in touch with Flight Centre today and ask them to cut cruelty from their travel itinerary too!

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And if you're an animal lover like me you might be wondering how you can get up close and personal with animals without having to take their freedoms away. Click here for 5 ways to interact with animals without cages. Or leave a suggestion of your own in the comments :)

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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!"

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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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