Elephant exploitation must end

GREENS candidate for Port Stephens, Charmian Eckersley fare welled Stardust
Circus from Raymond Terrace today with a call for an end to animal circuses.

“The NSW Government must immediately take steps to bring an end to the
exploitation currently endured by circus animals,” Ms Eckersley said.

“And if the state government will not act, local councils should take responsibility and ban animal circuses in their areas.”

“Port Stephens Council should follow the lead of other Lower Hunter councils and pass a policy banning animal circuses,” Ms Eckersley said.

Both Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Councils have invoked bans on animal circuses.

“I was immensely saddened to see one of the elephants rocking back and forth when I visited the circus site on Australia Day. This behavior has been acknowledged by the courts as a stereotypical sign of distress in
elephants,” Ms Eckersley said.

Stardust Circus was forced to obtain a companion for its solitary elephant, Arna, after being taken to court by Animal Liberation in 2002. Video footage of Arna rocking rhythmically backwards and forwards was acknowledged as evidence that an elephant is distressed.

Modern, progressive circuses such as the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil have opposed the use of animals in circuses. “Circus Monoxide has twice set up its Big Top locally in the last couple of
years. It provides a high quality circus experience without the inhumanity of caged and tamed animals,” Ms Eckersley said.

“If circuses can’t be stopped by the judiciary on the grounds of cruelty, its time that politicians stepped up to the plate and took decisive action to end this outmoded form of exploitative entertainment,” Ms Eckersley said.

Further comment: Charmian Eckersley, ph 0407 730 410; 4960 3088

Two Elephants

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