Joined by NSW MP Emma Hurst, the Animal Justice Party Illawarra Regional Group, Wollongong Animal Save and animal lovers across the Illawarra region are set to descend on the controversial Stardust Circus in Shellharbour this Sunday to protest the cruel use of exotic animals in entertainment.
Stardust Circus features six lions and four rhesus monkeys, and has consistently faced heavy criticism for insisting on using exotic animals in their performances despite increasing community concerns over animal welfare.
“This is animal abuse and exploitation, plain and simple,” said Julie Power, Animal Justice Party Illawarra Regional Group Leader.
“Our community recognises that these animals are being stressed and traumatised on a daily basis. They know there is nothing natural about forcing wild animals into a tiny space to perform for a dwindling number of people.
“This is a circus that insists on preaching to the public that domination over animals and cruelty is ok. They are failing in their social obligation and responsibility to our community,” said Ms Power.
Stardust Circus has come under fire for numerous years for their use of animals, with animal activists sharing footage of lions and dogs pacing for hours within circus fences. The business has now been banned by 41 councils across Australia due to community pressure, but the Animal Justice Party wants the sanctions on the cruel practice to go further and the animals retired.
“Our laws are failing these animals. It is not good enough that Stardust Circus says they are complying with current regulations,” continued Ms Power.
“For the 6 Lions in the travelling Stardust Circus, the Department of Primary Industries recommendations state they only need a 70m2 area in which to live. This is the space of just over 4 parking spaces, or ¼ of a tennis court.
“In the wild a pride’s territory may be as large as 250km2. Confining these wild animals to such a small area is severely detrimental to their heath, causing severe stress, boredom, frustration and lethargy. The community has seen it for themselves.
“The NSW Government must ban this horrific practice and close the loopholes allowing this abuse to continue on both public and private land.
“Stardust Circus must retire these animals to a sanctuary and allow them to live out the rest of their lives in peace, away from the public eye,” said Ms Power.
Stardust Circus Protest in Shellharbour will be held on Sunday, the 23rd of February from 2:30-4:00pm
17th February 2020