MEDIA RELEASE – Thursday 24 May 2018
Stardust Circus will continue to be able to use public land in the Hills Shire for its shows. News that comes as a blow to concerned residents who had tirelessly petitioned The Hills Shire Council to ensure community spaces were used for ethical activities only.
Animal Justice Party NSW MP Mark Pearson said many members of the community had worked long and hard to finally get a significant motion up at this week’s Ordinary Meeting (Tuesday 22 May).
“The motion put forward called for Council to cease hiring parks, reserves and other Council facilities to circuses which include trained wild animals in their performances, such as elephants, lions, monkeys, and apes,” Mr Pearson said.
“It included a clause that circuses using Council premises limit their use of animals to domesticated animals. That such animals be kept in suitably large and comfortable enclosures.
“The community presented a reasonable and responsible plea for Council to take a moral position on animal welfare. Unfortunately, Council chose to throw its support behind a private business that profits from the exploitation of exotic animals.”
Stardust Circus is a legacy of two circuses that were established in the early 19th Century. Today, the circus’ main attraction is its big cats’ programme which consists of wild African lions.
One of the concerns held by residents is centred around how Stardust Circus treats the animals it keeps confined to cages in between training and performing regimes. “The welfare of circus animals is somewhere between the bare minimum and non-existent. It couldn’t be further from the animal’s natural environment and way of life,” Mr Pearson said. “The Animal Justice Party stands against animals being made to perform unnatural behaviours for the sake of entertainment. We believe the use of animals in circuses should be banned. “A circus is a medieval form of entertainment that no longer has the social licence to operate in a modern, civilised society.”
The Hills Shire neighbouring Councils of Parramatta, Hornsby, and Hawkesbury all have a ban on exotic animals using Council land. There are also 45 countries that have introduced similar bans.
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