Exotic animal circuses banned by three more councils

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 30 June 2009

Councils across the country are rising up to their responsibilities towards animals, and banning cruel exotic animal circuses!

One would expect travelling circuses with exotic animals to be a thing of the past, but in Australia, circuses such as Lennon Bros and Stardust Circus still regularly take to the road with their cargo of lions and monkeys to bring a few minutes of ‘entertainment’ to town.

Thankfully — finding a place to pitch their big top is becoming increasingly difficult for these circuses. More and more councils are taking an ethical stance by imposing bans on circuses with exotic animals on council owned land. In recent months, Lismore Council in New South Wales and Ipswich and the Gold Coast Councils in Queensland were added to the list of approximately 45 districts where circuses with exotic animals are not welcome.

Adding to an overwhelming body of evidence, the recent scientific study ‘Are wild animals suited to a travelling circus life?’ by the University of Bristol in the UK confirmed that it is impossible to satisfy the behavioural and welfare needs of exotic animals in travelling circuses.

The lives of exotic animals in circuses could be no further removed from their natural environment. Transported from town to town in trucks, they are confined in small, barren cages or pens for most of their lives and forced to do unnatural or degrading tricks –often taught by the crack of the whip.

Lismore, Ipswich and Gold Coast Councils are part of a worldwide shift to ban circuses with (exotic) animals. In July, Bolivia became the first country in the world to completely ban all animals in circuses. Similar proposals are currently being discussed in the Brazilian and Peruvian parliaments. If you become aware of Lennon Bros or Stardust Circuses coming to your council district please give us a call. Even a letter from one concerned citizen can prompt councils to think for the first time about the ethics of encouraging circuses that use exotic animals.

These circuses promote themselves as ‘entertainment for the whole family’. It is therefore encouraging that a growing number of Australian Councils are sending the right message to the community — that entertainment stops when animal suffering begins.


You can help!

  1. Don’t visit animal circuses(unless you are protesting against them).
  2. Contact your local council to find out if it allows animal circuses on its land. If it does, write a letter asking them to ban animal circuses in your area.
  3. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, or speak on talk-back radio about the cruelties involved in animal circuses and why they should be banned.