Circus bypasses Ipswich City Council ban on exotic animals

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  • Amy Mitchell-Whittington  Amy Mitchell-Whittington

A circus that features lions, monkeys and camels has set up in Redbank, bypassing the Ipswich City Council’s longstanding ban on circus performances featuring exotic animals.

Lennon Bros. Circus opened its show to audiences last Friday on a block of land opposite Redbank Plaza off Collingwood Drive at Redbank.

While a spokesman for Lennon Bros. Circus said they were granted approval to set up on what they claim is private property, an Ipswich City Council spokesperson was adamant the land was state government-owned road reserve.

“Ipswich City Council had no involvement in approving the use of the land for a circus,” the spokesperson said. Deputy mayor Paul Tully said he was disappointed the state government had given the go-ahead for the circus.

“They should be working with the council to keep circuses with exotic animals out of the city rather than bypassing the council,” Cr Tully said.

A spokesperson for local MP Jo-Ann Miller was unable to confirm whether the land was state owned. The Ipswich City Council banned the use of exotic animals in circuses in 2009 however the ban does not include events held on private or state-owned land.

The circus, which will run until October 2, features three lions, ponies, monkeys, camels, mini donkeys and dogs. A statement on Lennon Bros. Circus’ website claims it is one of two circuses left in Australia with a big cats program.

The RSPCA is opposed to exotic animals being featured in circuses because the requirements of circus life on exotic animals were “not compatible with the physiological, social and behavioural needs of these animals”.

The Gold Coast City Council was the latest council in the state to ban the performance of exotic animals at circuses on council-owned land.

News Link:http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/circus-bypasses-ipswich-city-council-ban-on-exotic-animals-20160919-grjpi4.html

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The Animals at Animaland Zoo Have a New Home, Thanks To ALDF!

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“Here’s an email I’m eager to share with you, I’m so relieved these animals are now safe!!” But there is so much more work to be done to free animals from dilapidated road side zoo!!”

 Animaland Zoo Shut Down For Good


Dear Julie,

Now they have grass under their paws, clean water, companionship, enrichment and veterinary care. At last, thanks to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and your support,the animals once held at Animaland Zoo in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania will get the lives they deserve. With you by our side, we sued the roadside zoo for violating the Endangered Species Act and state wildlife laws. In the face of our lawsuit, Animaland settled with us and shut down. We were able to step in and choose new locations for Bear the wolf and the two black bears, Shawn and Sandy.

Let’s celebrate this together—your continued support of the Animal Legal Defense Fund empowers us to litigate these victories for animals.

Help Us Rescue Other Animals in Captivity

All of the animals at Animaland were suffering physically and psychologically. Sandy and Shawn were forced to share a concrete enclosure for 17 years. Almost two decades in a cell hardly big enough for the bears to move in. Thanks to our lawsuit and logistical support from the sanctuary team at Lions Tigers & Bears, Sandy and Shawn are now living at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, a Texas sanctuary where they’ll have the freedom they need.

We also found a safe place for Bear the wolf to live out the rest of his life. Bear was lethargic at Animaland, a pack animal in agonizing solitude. After being nowhere near others of his kind for years, Bear is now safe at the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, where he is exploring lush vegetation amongst other wolves.

Your generous support helped save Bear, Shawn, Sandy and other animals from Animaland. The tax deductible donation you make today can help us find happy endings for even more animals.

We would also like to thank the law firm Baker Hostetler in Philadelphia for their invaluable pro bono assistance with this case.

Every day, the Animal Legal Defense Fund fights to protect animals, and victories like this one are the reason we never give up.

For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director

Many more animals need out help, Please visit:https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5154/p/salsa/donation/common/public/;jsessionid=A985D6881533F73B3E5089D7711F864B-n4?donate_page_KEY=14317&okay=true

Push to reinstate ban on circus animals performing on Gold Coast City Council-owned properties

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ANDREW POTTS, EXCLUSIVE, Gold Coast Bulletin; September 4, 2016 3:00pm

A CITY hall cage fight is brewing over plans to revive a ban on circuses with exotic animals performing within the city. Fur is expected to fly, with councillors set to defy the recommendations of bureaucrats and vote to ban circus animals on city controlled properties, nearly four years after such a ban was lifted.

A petition calling for the ban will go before the Community and Cultural Development committee on Thursday with council officers recommending that “no action be taken”. But committee head Bob La Castra said the advice was unacceptable and that he could not stand by and do nothing while animals “suffered”.

He urged ratepayers across the city to put pen to paper and lobby their elected representatives before Thursday’s vote.

Cr Bob La Castra is leading the charge to reinstate a ban on circus animals performing on the Gold Coast. Photo: Jerad Williams

“The views of those who believe this to be still acceptable are totally out of line and dated,” he said. “This should not be happening in our own backyard and we need those people who feel strongly about this to make their feelings known, so write to your councillors, speak out about it and fight this barbarity.

“By allowing these circuses on our land we are complicit in what they are doing and banning them would send a message that what they are doing is not right and that we are taking a stand.”

Police and Animal Rights campaigners outside Gold Coast Council Chambers protesting against the circus. Photo by Richard Gosling

If the ban is successful, circuses with exotic animals would still be allowed to perform on private property. A ban was first put into place in 2009 by the council with the backing of then-Mayor Ron Clarke. It was lifted in a January 2013 decision by the council in which Mayor Tom Tate used his casting vote to break a deadlock tie.

The Gold Coast Bulletin understands councillors on each sides of the argument are running the numbers to determine if the ban could potentially pass.

Both sides concede a vote could go either way.

But Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow, an ardent supporter of circuses, said she would fight the ban tooth and nail and declared the opposing argument to be “crap”.

Cr Dawn Crichlow with Massai the Lion. Pic Jono Searle.

“The kids want the circuses and I will fight all the way because it is a matter which is close to my heart and those of many others,” she said. “I am sick of the noisy minority coming up with all this crap. “I cannot believe this women condones & thinks it’s ok for children to see abused & tortured animals, just for their pleasure….condoning this just lets kids think that it is ok to be cruel to animals for the sake of entertainment????   By allowing circuses to carry on using animals is agreeing with the torturous training these poor young animals have to endure. Would it be ok to watch a double human act if you knew that one-half of the act was constantly being physically abused & tortured; just for entertainment???? NO, I DON’T THINK SO!!! ANYONE THAT DOES THINK ITS OK…WELL, I THINK THEY NEED TO BE SEEKING PROFESSIONAL  HELP”

RSCPA chief executive Mark Townend called on the council to “move with the times” and end the mistreatment of exotic animals.

“I would hope the council gets into 2016 thinking because realistically circus animals are very 1970s,” he said. “There are great circus which do not put animals through these ridiculous things which are not in their natural behaviour. “I appeal to the council to move with the times because we can have a successful circus without putting animals through such treachery.”

The petition calling for the ban to be reinstated was submitted to the council in March by then-Robina councillor Jan Grew in the final act of her 22 year political career.

More than 45 councils across Australia have exotic animal bans in place. Both City of Melbourne and Penrith both voted to introduce their own boycotts this year. Protesters are expected to attend Thursday’s council committee meeting and security will be on hand.

News Link: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/pets-and-wildlife/push-on-to-reinstate-ban-on-circus-animals-performing-on-gold-coast-city-councilowned-properties/news-story/977c58756cfc65467f2269bf8bac94f3

“See how animals are really trained to perform for your entertainment!! Then ask yourself; is this fair on the animals? Do you enjoy knowing they have been hurt for you entertainment????”

“The Circus, where animals are miserable & go insane; confined to metal cages when not being abused & are trained through fear; fear of being whipped, hit with objects, tied by the neck i.e tortured, etc. etc.”

(Anyone who condones this…will be classed as an animal abuser through my eyes)

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