Circus gets go ahead
THE circus can still come to town despite the opposition of almost 200 people who signed a petition started by a former Port Douglas resident to ban them from the region.
Cairns Regional Council yesterday decided to take no action on the petition put forward by Heather Fardy and signed by 186 people protesting against seeing wild animals caged, chained and made to do tricks. organised a petition which she presented to the Cairns Regional Council with 186 names for consideration.
The petition urged council to ban exotic animal circuses in the Cairns local government area and claimed scientific research shows that circus life is not compatible with their needs.
Council rejected the petition yesterday and said in its report that RSPCA had successfully lobbied several councils across Australia to prohibit exotic animals on council managed land, however, ‘‘the regulation and enforcement of animal welfare legislation is the responsibility of State Government departments, with local government having no jurisdiction over these matters’’.
Ms Fardy, who moved to New South Wales in January, said coercing exotic animals to perform unnatural and sometimes dangerous tricks does nothing to educate the public or foster respect for animals and served no valid conservation purpose.
‘‘It is wrong for exotic animals to be kept in cages, dragged around the country and forced to perform degrading tricks,’’ she said.
‘‘I know a lot of the trainers supposedly love their animals but there’s so much footage of animal trainers for circuses using horrible methods to get animals to comply because it’s so unnatural for them.
‘‘It is a medieval entertainment that is not appropriate in today’s society.’’
Ms Fardy said she would prefer to take her children to a free range zoo and show them documentaries of the animals in the wild.
‘‘I would hate for my son to believe lions jumping through burning hoops and being dragged around the country sedated and kept on a chain is ordinary,’’ she said.
‘‘I collected all the signatures on the petition from the area, I was in love with Port Douglas and really disappointed there when the tents were set up and there were the lions.
‘‘It’s unfortunate council rejected my petition but it’s a matter of time before these circuses are wound up.
‘‘The best way to show circuses what you think of them if don’t go, the less successful they are they eventually will become a form of entertainment that won’t exist.’’