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Friday, April 4, 2014

Circus rolls up but not everyone is happy to see animals

Stardust Circus ringmaster Adam St James with 16-month-old African lion Zimbi breathing down his neck.
Alistair Brightman
from: frasercoastchronicle.com.au
By Tyson Yates  
4th Apr 2014
FRASER COAST,AUSTRALIA--STARDUST Circus has rolled into town however not everyone in Hervey Bay is roaring with excitement.

Deputy Mayor George Seymour has voiced his objections to exotic animal circuses being granted access to council land after first raising the concern shortly after being elected in 2012.

"I don't believe it is appropriate in this day and age to treat animals, particularly non-domestic animals, in such a fashion," he said.

"I believe we should do what some other councils have done, like Ipswich, and say we won't lease council land to circuses with exotic animals."

The Chronicle received several reader comments, with one person saying they had written to the council to object and another describing the decision to allow the circus as "backwards".

Ringmaster Adam St James said Stardust Circus was well received by audiences with the circus having come to Hervey Bay from successive sold out shows at the Gold Coast where a ban had been lifted to once again allow the event to run on council land
"We have a very strict code of practice we abide by which is set by the government as well as RSPCA and various other animal bodies," he said.

"We have never had a conviction of animal cruelty in our 100-plus years of operation."

RSPCA Wide Bay inspector Penny Flaherty said the RSPCA was against circuses using exotic animals.

"The official RSPCA policy is against the use of exotic animals in circuses mainly due to the stress of transportation," she said.

"However this stance in no way indicated that we feel circus staff are deliberately cruel to animals, because we really don't feel that they are."

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