Canterbury-Bankstown Council Bans 'Exotic' Circus Animals

Welfare concerns

19 October 2018

Article heading image for Canterbury-Bankstown Council Bans 'Exotic' Circus Animals

The RSPCA has praised Canterbury Bankstown Council after a vote was held to ban circuses and carnivals who use exotic animals on council owned or controlled land.

The move comes after much community discussion on the topic.

"The RSPCA is opposed to the use of non-domesticated (exotic) animals, such as lions, elephants and primates in circuses, because the requirements of circus life are not compatible with the physiological, social and behavioural needs of these animals," RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said.

"The RSPCA's policy is based on evidence that no circus, no matter how well managed, can provide an appropriate environment for wild animals."

Reasons for the ban stem from the inability to care properly for the exotic animals in the setting of a travelling circus.

"Performing circus animals are kept for prolonged periods in close confinement, in artificial social groups and are continually being transported between circus venues for the duration of their performing lives, all for the purpose of entertainment," RSPCA NSW Veterinary Scientific Officer Dr Jade Norris said.

Mayor Khal Asfour said that it was a matter of principle.

It certainly polarised opinion, residents were either for it or against it," Mayor Asfour said.

"We took all views into consideration but, ultimately in the end, we have a social responsibility and a commitment to forward thinking leadership."

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