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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Thai Monk Caught Feeing Temple With Tiger Skins

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Thai wildlife officers load a tiger on to a truck outside the temple in Kanchanaburi province. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Getty

Wildlife authorities in Thailand have found adult tiger skins and fangs during a raid on the “tiger temple” tourist attraction and intercepted a monk who was trying to leave in a car that was carrying skins. Separately, officials said they would press charges against the Buddhist temple after 40 tiger cubs were found in a freezer on Wednesday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) moved in this week to relocate 137 tigers to government-run sanctuaries after repeated allegations of animal trafficking. The temple claims the tigers will be worse off.

“Today we found tigers skins and amulets in a car which was trying to leave a temple,” said Adisorn Noochdumrong, the deputy director of the DNP. He said a search of several monks’ quarters yielded further body parts, bringing Thursday’s haul to two full-body tiger skins, about 10 fangs and dozens of pieces of tiger fur.

Volunteers, staff and monks at Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple complex have long denied trafficking allegations. But international animal rights groups including WWF and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals applauded the raid. Police Col Bandith Meungsukhum told AFP the dead cubs would have been one or two days old. He said their DNA would be tested to see if they were related to tigers at the temple.

The temple claims it decided in 2010 to stop cremating the cubs and preserve them to “keep as proof against the allegations of selling cubs”.

Thailand is a central route for the illegal wildlife trade through south-east Asia, including for ivory, rhino horn and live animals. Tiger parts, including bones and penises, are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned the trade in tiger parts and products in 2007. The raid is the culmination of a battle that has been going on for years between the government and the temple. Thailand has an estimated 1,200-1,300 captive tigers.

News Link & Video:-https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/02/thai-monk-caught-temple-tiger-skins-fangs

What’s Behind The Monastery; with over 100 tigers?

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June 5, 2016 1:00 am

Find out what’s behind the monastery with over 100 tigers? Find out more about the controversy…

Official name: Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno

Location: Moo 5, Tambon Sing, Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi province

Allegations: It is accused of illegal possession of wild animals and illegal trade in wildlife.

A probe will soon be launched on whether it legitimately acquired its 2,000 rai block of land.

Background: In 2001, it had seven tigers.

: In 2015, officials found 147 tigers in its compound and embedded these big cats with microchips so they could be tracked.

: In 2016, officials started moving tigers out of the temple.

Shocking Discoveries: During the operation to search and catch tigers for relocation, officials found the bodies of 40 tiger cubs in jars, plus frozen tiger carcasses, tiger skins, tiger amulets, engraved tiger fangs and stickers about antler herbs and food supplements made of tiger bodies. The body of a binturong, antlers and parts of various other animals were also found in the compound.

News Link:http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Whats-behind-the-monastery-with-over-100-tigers-30287353.html

Social Media Erupts With Concern for Wildlife; Harambe And Tiger Temple

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Asina Pornwasin The Nation June 4, 2016 1:00 am

Two incidents show how people harm the wildlife animals like gorilla and tigers spread onto social media. First is Harambe, a 17-year-old male western lowland gorilla, was killed Saturday at the Cincinnati Zoo to save the life of a four-year-old child who fell into his enclosure.

Harambe

Second is the relocation of the first batch of all 137 tigers that the National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation Department has planned to take away from Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno, more widely known as the Tiger Temple.

And then, the officials found the dead cubs were frozen together with a number of other dead animals including a binturong – a protected species also known as a bearcat – as well as chicken meat for feeding live tigers.

The death of Harambe raised up controversial the decision of the zoo and blame the child’s parents flowing over online.

A Dutch primatologist and ethologist Franciscus Bernardus Maria wrote on his Facebook Page “Frans” de Waal” (https://www.facebook.com/notes/frans-de-waal-public-page/rip-harambe/10154127508562200/): “I find it very hard to decide what the Cincinnati Zoo should have done in the case of the human toddler and Harambe, the silverback male gorilla. He showed a combination of protection and confusion. He stood over the child, held him up, moved/dragged him through the water (at least once very roughly), stood over him again. Much of his reaction may have been triggered by public noise and yelling.

“It is a horrible dilemma. I am sure the zoo staff is devastated (even though activists often depict zoos as prisons, they are full of people who deeply care about and greatly respect animals), and I myself am devastated that such a beautiful primate was killed. It is a great loss for the species, but we also mourn the individual life of a primate who had done nothing wrong.

At least, we can all agree that people should watch their children! A special petition is going around calling for the boy’s parents to “be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life”.

@DeviBrown: Animal forced in captivity for the entertainment of humans. Human wrongfully enters animal’s protected space. Animal killed. SMFH. #RipHarambe

@maddidolan: He was an innocent creature and he did not deserve to die. #RipHarambe #justiceforharambe

@Thomas_miller5: That gorilla would’ve been a better parent than the mother #RipHarambe

Meanwhile, Cincinnati Zoo said that the Zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team responded to the life-threatening situation and made the difficult decision to dispatch the gorilla (Harambe).

“The Zoo security team’s quick response saved the child’s life. We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically endangered gorilla,” said Zoo Director Thane Maynard. “This is a huge loss for the Zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.”

It’s also said through @CincinnatiZoo: Cincinnati Zoo Devastated by Death of Beloved Gorilla.

World Wildlife Fund has found 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer in Kanchanaburi’s Tiger Temple.

WWF has commended the Thai authorities for taking definitive action to permanently remove the tigers from the temple to facilities in Ratchaburi.

WWF was dismayed last month when the Tiger Temple was granted an official zoo permit by the wildlife department. This was despite longstanding allegations and ample evidence that the Tiger Temple was trafficking tigers into the illegal wildlife trade.

In addition to the Tiger Temple, other facilities with captive tigers should also be investigated to ensure tigers don’t fall prey to illegal wildlife trafficking and abuse, the WWF said. Facilities found in violation of international and national wildlife laws must be prohibited from acquiring, owning and breeding tigers, it said

 News Link:http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Social-media-erupts-with-concern-for-wildlife-30287318.html

South Africa Legalizes Rhino Horn Trade, Despite Massive Opposition – PETITION TO SIGN PLEASE

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Sorry not been around, pain controls my life as most of you know…feeling a bit better so thought I would get some posts done while I can. Some of them may be a little out of date, but I feel strongly about their causes so will post!! The story below will affect many Rhino, I don’t think this is the way to save our Rhino, if you agree with me, please sign the petition below! 

South Africa Legalizes Rhino Horn Trade, Despite Massive Opposition

By: Alicia Graef May 31, 2016 About Alicia Follow Alicia at @care2causes

A South African court has ruled to legalize the trade of rhino horns, with just “three terse sentences” National Geographic reports.

The international trade in rhino horn has been banned for decades, and was shut down in South Africa – home to the largest population of rhinos on earth, according to data from 2009. The future of the rhino species is continuously jeopardized because of the demand for their horns. Thousands of rhinos have been ruthlessly killed by poachers to meet consumer demands for rhino horns.

In April, conservationists celebrated a victory when South Africa decided against submitting a proposal to legalize the international trade in rhino horns at the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which will be held in Johannesburg this upcoming September.

Make no mistake; legalizing trade in rhino horn would have been nothing short of disaster for species that are just barely hanging on now as it is. The South African decision does not fix the plight of rhinos―but it gives space and time to tackle poaching, close down illegal markets and eliminate the loopholes that already help enable the $20 billion market in illegal international wildlife trade. South Africa bought more time for rhinos today―and should follow up with more key actions to keep these animals on the planet,” Alex Kennaugh, a wildlife advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said at the time.

Now, however, the win is being undermined by a recent decision handed down by South Africa’s Court of Appeal, which effectively legalizes the trade within South Africa.

The ruling is the result of a challenge to the ban brought by rhino ranchers, and those on their side continue to argue that funds could be used to support conservation efforts, but opponents have serious concerns that it will do more harm than good, especially with poaching levels reaching record highs.

They also point to the fact that there’s virtually no market for horns within South Africa, which has raised worries that they will most likely be smuggled out and sold elsewhere illegally, and that legalizing the trade will kill the message that rhino horn, like elephant ivory, is something no one should be buying at all.

According to Reuters, in response the government may now change legislation, make obtaining permits to buy, sell or possess rhino horns so difficult to get it effectively stifles the trade, or it may possibly appeal to a higher court, but it’s not yet clear what course of action it will take.

Hopefully, it will do something to undo this. Considering the global efforts being undertaken to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and to promote the conservation of imperiled species in their natural habitats, we need to continue to push for more work on those fronts and rethink how inherently valuable these species are, instead of trying to figure out ways to ‘save’ them through continued exploitation.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION:

Urge The Florida Legislature to Ban The Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horns To Protect Endangered Wildlife!

SIGN THE PETITION & ORIGINAL NEWS SITEhttp://www.care2.com/causes/south-africa-legalizes-rhino-horn-trade-despite-massive-opposition.html

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Alexei Sayle Tells Government To Get A Move On Over Circus Ban Farce

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Comedian Alexei Sayle has joined Animal Defenders International (ADI) in calling for action on wild animal circuses, urging Government “to get a move on” and “bring their own bill in” as a backbench bill to bring in the ban promised, but sat upon by Government, faces its tenth attempt to pass to committee stage.

Incredibly, it is Conservative back benchers who have blocked this bill to pass their Government’s own legislation nine times.

Opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses is overwhelming, with support for the ban uniting Parliament and the public alike. Legislation has now been pledged by Government for three years, with the promised ban due to come into force at the end of this year. ADI is urging David Cameron to keep his word and progress the law.

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “The Government made a clear promise to act on this issue yet three years on we are still waiting for the law to pass. The public and Parliament do not want to see wild animals continuing to suffer in British circuses. David Cameron must keep his word and bring in the ban without delay.”

Social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell joined Alexei Sayle in the plea for action stating he hoped David Cameron “will stop his foot-dragging and bring forward legislation to ensure there are no more wild animals in circuses in Britain” alongside X Factor boyband Fifth Street who said that the ban would “keep the public happy and keep the animals happy.”

Angela Eagle MP today attempted to progress the ban by asking William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, if the Government would give the Circus Bill time for a Second Reading. He responded: “I certainly support that Bill and the Government supports that Bill. I think it would be wrong for the Government to pick bills out of the Private Members’ process and give them Government time… the Bill will have to take it’s normal chances.”

This seems extraordinary double-speak since the bill was promised by the Government over two years ago and is only in the Private Members’ process because the Government has not given it time.

The issue has become an embarrassing Parliamentary saga. The proposed ban on wild animals in circuses was announced by the Government in 2012, although a ban was promised to Parliament as long ago as 2006. In 2010 a Government Public Consultation saw over 90% of respondents calling for a ban and in 2011, backbench bench MPs voted unanimously for the Government to introduce a ban.

The Private Member’s Bill introduced by Jim Fitzpatrick MP is identical to the Government’s own Bill that was unveiled to media fanfare but has simply gathered dust. Unfortunately, an objection from just one MP prevents it from progressing, and tomorrow eyes will be on Tory MP for Christchurch, Christopher Chope, who has blocked the bill on six occasions.

Wales is committed to a ban and is seeking to be included in England’s legislation, but whilst efforts to ban wild animals in circuses are stalling, 30 nations around the world have acted. ADI is currently assisting the Peruvian Government enforce a ban and have 21 lions in their care removed from circuses.

ADI’s campaign to stop circus suffering in Britain is supported by politicians of all parties, leading animal protection groups and celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed, Twiggy, Eddie Izzard and Sir Roger Moore.

ADI has vowed not to let the matter drop and the backbench bill will have another second reading on Friday 27 February.

News Link:-https://www.looktothestars.org/news/13155-alexei-sayle-tells-government-to-get-a-move-on-over-circus-ban-farce

Law to ban wild animals in UK circuses being blocked by three Tory MPs

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“Seriously, these idiots blocking the ban need to go undercover to see the real truth! What elephant in the wild would stand on its head or lion jump through fire…FFS…Watch the video below…if you love your pets, would you let them be treated this way??? There is no difference, all animals are sentient, they feel most emotions humans do; yet they are treated like inanimate objects. their only use is to perform for entertainment, to earn money for their captors!!”

By  Friday 5 December 2014

UK lags behind Bolivia and Bosnia in banning the use of wild animals, such as lions, tigers, zebras and camels, in travelling circuses

‘The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone … Britain should join the 21st century.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A new law to ban the use of wild animals in circuses is being repeatedly blocked by a trio of Tory backbenchers, despite the personal support of David Cameron, the government, Labour and over 90% of the British public.

The bill was blocked for the seventh time on Friday afternoon, a move its supporters called a “travesty” and an “outrage”. Dozens of lions, tigers, zebras and camels are still used in travelling circuses and in 2012 the government pledged to outlaw what Cameron called the “outdated practice”. But despitepublishing the draft law in 2013, it has since failed to pass it.

Former environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick, a Labour MP, took the government’s bill and presented it as a private members bill, with support from MPs from all main parties. But it has been repeatedly blocked by circus-supporter Andrew Rosindell, along with Christopher Chope and Philip Davies, all Conservative MPs.

“It is very much a matter of a tiny number of Tory backwoodsmen preventing this from happening,” Fitzpatrick told the Guardian. “It is frustrating, but we are keeping the issue alive – it won’t go away.”

“The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone,” he said, noting that many nations, from Bosnia to Bolivia, already have bans and that safari parks and zoos provided alternatives. “We think Britain should join the 21st century.”

“For those that think animals are trained with loving hands…WATCH THIS…then tell me; do you really think they enjoy this life????

 Irrespective of  when this undercover video was taken, the principles for any animals still in circuses are the same; fear. neglect, torment & ridicule!!”

(Uploaded on 8 Dec 2008

The Truth About The Treatment of Animals In Circuses Filmed by Animal Defenders International, this video lifts the lid on the use and abuse of animals in entertainment. • the violence used to train and control the animals • the small cages, temporary pens, and chains the animals live and die in • the long journeys • the unnatural conditions • the animals driven out of their minds by boredom and deprivation)

“It is a travesty that the actions of just three MPs are preventing legislation to end animal suffering from being passed,” said Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International. In April, Cameron told ADI: “Yes, we are going to do it.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the government bill would be passed “when parliamentary time allows”. However, the current parliamentary programme has the smallest number of bills for 20 years. Fitzpatrick said there clearly was time and he had “no idea” why ministers will not fulfil their pledge.

The British Veterinary Association backs the ban, stating: “The welfare needs of wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus, in terms of housing or being able to express normal behaviour.” The RSPCA said: “Cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are often unavoidable realities for the animals.”

But Rosindell, who has blocked the bill twice said: “The circus is a Great British institution, which has proved that it has the high standards of welfare which are rightly expected of it, and I strongly believe that it deserves to be defended against the propaganda and exaggerations.”

He added: “None have been taken from their natural habitat; all are from several generations of animals born in captivity. I believe it would be much more cruel to remove them from the life they have always known in living and performing with their loving owners in the environment they are accustomed to.”

Creamer said: “By blocking the bill they are defying not only the wishes of their own party and their constituents, but also the British public and Parliament. There is also clearly time to pass a ban and the government needs to act now.” A 2010 government consultation found 94% of the British public supported a ban on wild animal acts.

Maria Eagle, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: “The British public will be outraged that, when given the opportunity, a determined group of Tories have repeatedly dug their heels in. The next Labour government will ban wild animals in circuses.”

Fitzpatrick said: “I think a ban on wild animals will come in sooner rather than later, but I have severe reservations about whether we get it in before the election next May.”

News Link:-http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/05/law-to-ban-wild-animals-in-uk-circuses-being-blocked-by-three-tory-mps

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