MOST parents approached in Paul Keating Park, were puzzled when told that their children may no longer be able to marvel at exotic animals, like lions, monkeys and bears when the circus next comes to Canterbury Bankstown.
Circuses using exotic animals could be banned from performing on council owned land under a new policy currently on public exhibition until July 30.
Under the policy, circuses like Stardust, which regularly visits Bass Hill, will no longer be allowed to have performing exotic animals.
"We would be impacted greatly if there was a ban on exotic animals," Stardust spokesperson Janice Lennon said.
"Children would be very disappointed if the circus can't come to their area."
Mrs Lennon says Stardust's lions are in a large enclosure, much the same as in a zoo and have night quarters, complete with reverse cycle air conditioning.
Stardust was granted a NSW Government 'A' rating for animal housing conditions in March.
"Hopefully residents will contact the council with their approval for animal circuses," Mrs Lennon said.
Mayor Khal Asfour says the policy brings the council in line with other councils, which have similar bans.
"We all agree it's not appropriate for lions, tigers, elephants and the like to be caged and used as performance animals," Mayor Asfour said.
All, however, did not agree when the Torch spoke with parents and their children in Bankstown on Monday.
"I disagree. It's exciting for children to see exotic animals at the circus," Revesby resident Amneh Damra said.
"As long as it's a safe environment for the audience, I don't have a problem with exotic animals at the circus."
Beata Pela from Yagoona, disagreed, and said keeping animals caged was unethical.
"I'm a vegan and hate to see caged animals," she said.