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

Exotic Animals

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   |   

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;

520-chained tiger.jpg

THIS;

520-elephantride.jpg

OR THIS:

520-seaworld.jpg

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;

520-tiger and cub.jpg

this;

520-elephant herd.jpg

and this:

520-orcapod.jpg

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.

thankSTA.jpg

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!

askflightcentre.jpg

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 :)

View 7 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Who were the lions eating yesterday?

Who were the lions eating yesterday?

Posted 14 February 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: zoos, giraffes, exotic animals, Melanie Joy, carnism

Maybe you've already heard… A few days ago, a healthy 2-year-old giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo, named Marius, was killed. The zoo decided they didn't have space for him. So he was shot in the head and his body was fed to the lions - in front of a crowd of spectators.

Marius's death has shocked people all around the world and has raised some big questions: Is the real reason Marius was killed that he was no longer cute enough to attract visitors to the zoo? Do zoos really have a role to play in conservation or do they just profit from confined animals? (There are some thought provoking answers to these questions here and here.)

But the question that jumped out at me when I heard about Marius's death was this: Who were the lions eating yesterday?

It's always tragic to see a young healthy animal, like Marius, killed. He deserved to live a full happy life, just as we all do. But like Marius, the pigschickens or cows who were fed to the lions yesterday would have also been young and healthy. They may not have been as exotic, and they probably didn't have a name, but does that make them any less deserving of our concern?

With people the world over understandably saddened and outraged by what happened to Marius, I hope this is an opportunity for us to reconsider how we view all animals - to recognise that they all have the ability to feel joy and seek pleasure, just as they all have the ability to suffer.

So why, as a society, do we seem to care more about the well-being of some animals than others? I don't know anyone who can answer that question better than Melanie Joy. If you haven't seen her presentation 'Carnism: The Psychology of Eating Meat' it's certainly worth a watch:

I would love to hear your thoughts about Marius's death and Melanie Joy's talk in the comments below :)

View 7 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

Zoos closed! Animals freed!

Zoos closed! Animals freed!

Posted 16 August 2013   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: zoos, Costa Rica, good news, exotic animals, action

In my mind, this is what Costa Rica looks like:

520-costarica.jpg

Why? Well, probably because I have no concept of geography whatsoever. But more importantly, because they’re charging ahead when it comes to animal-friendly reforms.

Costa Rica has just announced that they’re going to close two of their government-owned zoos. Why? Environment Minister Rene Castro says his decision was influenced by his grandmother’s pet parrot.

"One day, we took the parrot out to the patio, and a flock of wild parrots passed, and the parrot went with them," he says. "It made a big impression on me because I thought that we were taking good care of her. We fed her with food and affection ... all these things that we as humans thought she liked. And when she had the chance, she left."

So he’s setting all the animals free! Well, 400 altogether. The two sites will be converted into botanical parks, displaying biodiversity in a natural way. The animals will be relocated to rescue centres or shelters where they will then be rehabilitated to the wild or, if they are unable to return to their natural habitat, taken care of by professionals.

We don’t want any more captivity, any more caging of animals, unless it’s because they’re being rescued or saved,” says Environment Minister Rene Castro. You go Castro!

This awesome news comes within a year of Costa Rica banning hunting as a sport! At the time, politician Victor Emilio Granadas said “hunting is not a sport but a cruelty!” He said the law “will allow us to live in peace with other living things that share our planet.

What’s more, circuses with performing animals were banned way back in 2002. So now you know why I think of Costa Rica as a land of rainbows and happiness.

The best thing about all this news is that it reminds me that making the world a better place for animals is very achievable. It’s already happening! You can be a part of the movement for change here in Australia. It’s as easy as becoming part of the Unleashed Action Team. You will be among the first to hear about animal protection campaigns and be part of a dedicated group of individuals making a difference for animals. Click here to join the team.

Post a Comment   |   

Good at doing his hair -- Bad at looking after animals.

Good at doing his hair -- Bad at looking after animals.

Posted 4 July 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: companion animals, celebrity, cats, monkeys, snakes, exotic animals

I'm just as guilty of humming along to Justin Bieber's 'Baby' as the next person, but I am fed up with hearing about this guy's complete disregard for the proper care of companion animals.

If you happen to not be one of Bieber’s nine million followers on Instagram, then you might have missed the brief appearances of several unlucky animals amongst the incessant stream of shirtless selfies. So here’s an overview:

Johnson

250-johnson.jpg

This is Johnson. He is a baby boa constrictor. Back in 2011, he was Bieber’s 'pet' for all of three months before the singer seemingly got bored and auctioned little Johnson off for charity. Interestingly, charitybuzz, who were responsible for the auction, added the disclaimer that "keeping a pet snake is a long-term responsibility." Hmm, clearly this does not apply to floppy haired pop stars.

Johnson was lucky enough to be 'won' by an animal lover who was shocked that Bieber was auctioning off the baby boa. The winning bidder has since donated Johnson to the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo in Minnesota. "I wanted to make sure the snake would be well taken care of for the rest of his life," he explains.

Pac

250-pac.jpg

This is Pac. He was Justin's hamster. Bieber's sparkly-eyed love for Pac lasted approximately two months. Then, Bieber gave Pac away to a random screaming fan after a concert in Atlanta. The California Hamster Association (CHA) slammed Bieber for this casual handover. "Hamsters are fragile creatures that often succumb quickly to illness and death, especially when faced with sudden environmental change," they said.Three months later, Pac was dead. May he rest in peace.


Mally

250-mally.jpg

This is Mally. Some banana-brain thought it would be a good idea to give this baby capuchin to Biebs as a gift for his birthday in March this year. Monkeys are wild animals and should not be kept as pets, particularly not by a travelling celebrity with clearly very little interest in the welfare of animals.

Mally was with Biebs for a whole month (notice a trend here?) before he was abandoned in Germany as Justin was unable to provide the right paperwork to get him on the plane. Bieber was given six weeks to come up with the right paperwork.

Meanwhile, Mally was kept in isolation in a German animal shelter, alone and only 14 weeks old. Poor Mally. Monkeys are naturally very social animals and baby capuchins will normally stay by their mother’s side until they are a year old.

Bieber continued with his tour and the deadline to collect Mally passed by. Finally Mally was put into a German wildlife park where he now lives happily with other monkeys.

(Interestingly, Bieber captioned this picture of Mally "He's like a human." Yea. Good one Biebs. Feeney49 gets it.)

feeney49.jpg

[NOTE: This comment seems to have been removed.]

Tuts

250-tuts.jpg

This is Tuts. (Is anybody else getting exhausted by this list?) She is an adorable ginger Persian kitty. She has been in the 'care' of arguably the world's worst pet owner for a few weeks now. Justin picked her up within what seemed like minutes of Mally being seized by the German wildlife park -- shorter than the time in-between posting half naked selfies on his Instagram.

Tuts looks a little worried doesn’t she? And it’s no wonder, knowing Bieber’s history with companion animals. And also having a picture of herself captioned "Time to die." Hopefully Tuts will have a fate better than Pac’s :(

Mally? Or Mally II?

The latest is that Bieber held up a plane for eight hours in Miami because he wanted to go pick up his monkey from Palm Beach. Can you beliebe it? Whether this is a new monkey, or if somehow Mally has miraculously made it to Florida, my reaction is the same:

250-no.jpg

This dude is not even responsible enough to mind his temper, let alone an animal of any kind. I sure hope he hasn’t taken Mally away from his furry friends at the wildlife park.

What advice would you like to give to Biebs about taking care of companion animals? (P.S. He’s only a tweet away: twitter.com/justinbieber).

View 6 Comments   |   Post a Comment   |   

This Hangover hurts!

This Hangover hurts!

Posted 11 June 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: entertainment, giraffe, exotic animals

Would you like the good news or the bad news first?

250-hangover-poster.jpg

I'll start with the good news. The Capuchin monkey in the third instalment of the Hangover series seems to have given up smoking!*

The bad news is that director Todd Phillips has found a bunch of new ways to upset animal lovers. The cast of animal 'actors', in what is hopefully the last of the Hangover films, includes a giraffe, two dogs and a flock of roosters. And here's the real spoiler: all of the animals (the characters, not the 'actors') are dead by the end of the film.

The giraffe is beheaded on a freeway, the roosters are shot at, thrown out of the window or suffocated and the dogs have their necks broken. A FoxNews reviewer described the giraffe incident as an "unnecessary and cruel gag."


But what really gets under my skin, is not even the cheap 'gags' about animals, but the fact they decided to use real animals. Even though they used computer generated imagery (CGI) for the scene with the giraffe in the trailer, Phillips still dragged a real giraffe on set for filming.

200-giraffe-tongue.jpgIf I was a giraffe, there are a million and one ways I would choose to spend my days – practising rolling my GIANT tongue, popping my head through the branches of tall, tall trees and surprising birds, playing tag with my giraffe buddies ...

I would NOT choose to be in a movie studio, with a bunch of scary lights and noises and people telling me to do things that I don't understand. Giraffes are very sensitive animals and the one used for Hangover III had every reason to be stressed out and frightened.

The worst part is that it is completely unnecessary (and cruel) to use real animals in movie-making, especially given what they can do with CGI these days. Check out this video about the making of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, where no real apes were used:

"Acting should be left to actors," says Oscar award-winning Adrien Brody,"and that means human beings who have a choice in the matter." Brody voices the PETA ad which shows an extremely realistic and completely computer-generated ape.

Well said Adrien! Using animals in movies is no different to making them perform in the circus, which is why I will be giving Hangover Part III a miss.

What other great movies have you seen that use CGI instead of real animals?

*Crystal the monkey was trained to smoke a fake cigarette for Hangover II.

View 3 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   |   

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   |   

Camels don't need cups!

Camels don't need cups!

Posted 24 June 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: Racing, Camels, exotic animals, entertainment, rant

...they have humps to carry their drinks in, right?

Try telling that to the organisers of the annual Camel Cup held in July in Alice Springs, who bill a day of camel racing as a fun family event.

Update 04/07/11: Sadly, this silly race is on again in 2011, scheduled to run on Saturday 9th of July

I couldn't help but wonder after stumbling across this spectacle online, who would dream up such a camel crazy idea. I wasn't really surprised to learn that it was two blokes who'd had too much to drink at the pub one night! An intoxicated idea is very rarely a good one!

OK, so the thought of a camel race may be funny, but to actually see it, and the boofhead spectators laughing their heads off at the poor animals, is actually pretty sad.

It's bad enough that people race horses and greyhounds, but now they want to subject docile dromedaries to uncomfortable saddles and lashing whips as well?!

The ridiculous racing event, previously sponsored by Coles [Update 04/07/11: Coles now seem to have seen the light and no longer sponsor the race. Woo!] and XXXX Gold among others, also features dull dudes and dopey damsels vying for the titles of Mr and Miss Camel Cup. I'm not kidding! The guys have to walk like a camel and the girls have to display their knowledge of camel fun facts.

There's also Rickshaw Races, Kids Kamel Kapers and the "hilarious" Honeymoon Handicap ... clearly a plain camel race is not entertaining enough, they feel the need to rob the animals of every single ounce of dignity they have!

I bet if you asked a camel what he thought of The Cup, he'd happily spit in your face!

Oh and here's a fun fact. A camel's hump actually holds fat reserves, not water at all. But I'm sure Miss Camel Cup already knew that!

View 4 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 | 18 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 18 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.