Our weak laws have failed animals in “entertainment” long enough. Together we are fighting to finally secure freedom for exotic animals imprisoned for "entertainment" across NSW.
Read more about the trauma these animals endure below:
Dolphins and other cetaceans suffer horribly in captivity
- Within tanks, dolphins are often placed in unfamiliar groupings including dolphins that have come from different families, making communication between them impossible.
- Space in tanks is limited, which sparks aggression and frustration in dolphins - captive dolphins also often bear scars or rake marks, evidence of a clash with a tank mate.
- The surroundings in tanks are bare and sterile, with little mental stimulation or diversion for dolphins.
- Many captive dolphins are regularly treated with ulcer medication or antidepressant medication to alleviate the frustration of captivity.
- Because tanks lack the depth of the open ocean to permit deep diving, dolphins in captivity frequently experience overexposure to the sun, which can result in sunburn and blistering. Zinc oxide must be applied to their backs.
- Tanks are often heavily chlorinated, burning the eyes of dolphins and causing permanent damage to eyesight.
- Dolphins who participate in swim with interactions often have persistent wounds and abrasions from being handled by customers, their beaks raw from pushing guests through the water or being grasped for kisses and photo opportunities.
- Dolphins in captivity often have severe dental issues as a result of frustrated chewing on their tank walls.
- Wild captured dolphins must endure significant training to adapt to captivity. They must learn to accept a new diet of dead fish, as well as to undergo a variety of invasive operations.
- Captive dolphins are also forced to undergo food deprivation training, also known as “positive reinforcement” or “operant conditioning”. Captive dolphins are kept hungry enough so that they will comply with instructions from trainers, whether to learn new behaviours or to execute them during a performance of swim-with-dolphin encounter.
NSW is currently home to one dolphinarium: the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park (previously known as Dolphin Marine Magic).
Lions and Monkeys struggle to cope with being abused and exploited by the animal circus industry
- In Australia, there are no national welfare standards for circus animals. While some states have codes of practice or legal requirements, they generally focus on protecting animals from cruelty rather than promoting good welfare.
- Currently there is one remaining travelling circus operating in NSW who choose to exhibit wild animals including Lions and Monkeys - Stardust Circus.
- Animals in circuses are routinely subjected to months on the road confined in small, barren cages. They are forced to live in enclosures denying them every opportunity to express their natural behaviour and their training is often based on fear and punishment.
- 41 local councils across Australia have now banned circuses featuring animals from setting up on public land due to the local community’s animal welfare concerns.
- We know this is a dying industry, there is no reason for these animals not to be retired now and moved to sanctuaries to live out the rest of their lives in peace. With only one circus exploiting these animals remaining, the government must be made to recognise that this practice no longer meets or fits with community expectations.
Only one travelling circus featuring animals continues to operate in NSW (though many others are registered): Stardust Circus.