Just a couple of big pussycats: Stardust Circus’ Lion Trainer Matt Ezekial having fun with Hulk and Akita yesterday morning.
CONCERNED that a circus is no life for those behind bars, local residents supported by the Animal Justice Party, Animals Australia, Animal Liberation, Humane Society International and Sydney Pet Rescue members, are calling for a ban on animal performances.
In the process of collecting 10,000 signatures so their petition can be tabled in State Parliament, the group has held two protests while Stardust Circus is showing in Bass Hill, with a third protest planned for Sunday, August 13.
"These innocent animals are forced to perform once or twice a day, kept in confinement and transported around in cages on frightening, busy highways their entire sad lives," Panania resident Gail Browning said.
Stardust ringleader Adam St James says that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, his business is extremely law-abiding and approved by the State Government and Department of Primary Industries.
"All of our animals have a wonderful life here; they are trained using food as positive reinforcement," he said.
"We have no whips or hoops of fire for them to jump through and we operate under a strict code of practice governing what you can and can't do with animals in a circus.
"The RSPCA has inspected regularly and of course, never found an issue; if we were doing half the things these protesters say we are, we would have been prosecuted and shut down years ago.
"The truth is that Australia leads the world when it comes to keeping circus animals and animals in captivity.
"I invite members of the public to come down here and judge for themselves whether our animals are mistreated or not happy."