Stardust Circus a success despite cruelty claims
By DIANA BUSHBY
PROTESTS against animal cruelty didn’t stop people from attending the Stardust Circus in Queanbeyan.
The circus’s recent performance at Queanbeyan showground attracted criticism over the use of exotic animals such as lions and monkeys.
But Stardust Circus owner Jan Lennon said the experience of a traditional circus is what attracted people.
“It ended up being very successful, we can’t complain,” she said. “Obviously people wanted to see the circus with the animals as it turns out.”
Exotic circus animals are banned in the ACT, but Mrs Lennon said the majority of patrons had come from across the border.
“I drove around every night and had a look and the majority of number plates were ACT….ACT outweighed the NSW” Mrs Lennon said.
Animal Liberation ACT staged a protest against the circus to highlight the ill treatment of circus animals. “Circuses with these exotic species are banned from performing in the ACT, just over the border, because it is considered to be cruel,” Jo Morgan, the president of Animal Liberation ACT, said.
Mrs Morgan says the animals are forced to live in temporary cages and enclosures that are small and dull.
“The animals are prevented from carrying out their natural behaviour that evolved over millions of years,” Mrs Morgan said. “They are forced to perform whether they want to or not.”
But Mrs Lennon said the animals were very well looked after calling the accusations “rubbish”.
“We have lions and they are very lazy animals,” she said. “They sleep about 20 hours a day they don’t have to hunt for food it’s laid on them. There is no problem there. The five minutes they do on the show is their exercise…. They are not particularly over worked”
Across Australia 40 local councils have banned circuses with exotic animals and Mrs Morgan hopes Queanbeyan Council will ban the circus.
“The council definitely has a role to play in animal welfare and that would be to help get these poor animals out of the circus,” she said.
Queanbeyan Council general manager Gary Chapman said that there had been no complaints from residents and would not ban the circus while the community continued to enjoy it.