End the use of animals in entertainment in Queanbeyan-Palerang
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The use of animals in entertainment, such as circuses, rodeos, racing, petting zoos and livestock competitions, speaks to an outdated attitude towards sentient beings. By allowing these events, many of which have already been banned in other jurisdictions, the council is endorsing the exploitation and subjugation of non-human animals.
The use of “heritage” or “tradition” is not an acceptable excuse for these cruel and unnecessary practices. We call on the council to end their financial support of these events, and to bring in legislation to prevent them occurring in Queanbeyan-Palerang.
We demand the following:
- Immediate removal of financial support of any event utilising animals for entertainment including facilities funding, prize money or sponsorship
- No longer issuing permits or approval for these events to occur within Queanbeyan-Palerang
- Adoption of legislation existing interstate banning rodeo, exotic animal circus and greyhound racing
- Development of legislation with deadline to implement to ban all animal racing, circuses using any animal, livestock competitions and petting zoos, and any other remaining form of entertainment using animals
- Introduction of penalties for individuals breeding animals for any entertainment purpose
Animals used in rodeos are trained and provoked into rough behaviour for entertainment purposes. Devices such as spurs, electric prods and flank straps are regularly used on the animals. These devices cause rodeo animals various types of injuries, which sometimes cause the animals to be killed. There is nothing entertaining about tormenting animals.
Rodeos are banned in the ACT. Under s18 of the Animal Welfare Act 1992 (ACT) a person commits an offence if he or she conducts or takes part in a rodeo. The offence is punishable by up to a year in gaol.
Animals in circuses spend most of their time living and travelling in small cramped cages. When they are not in their cages, they are forced to carry out unnatural, inane tricks in loud, frightening circus tents. Their training is based on fear and punishment and not, as is often assumed, on ‘reward’. Abusive training tactics are often used such as whipping, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, beatings, and food deprivation. Such training tactics are used because wild animals do not naturally do tricks such as standing on their heads, balancing, or jumping through rings.
In the ACT all circuses with performing animals must obtain a permit before they can perform (see s52 of the ACT's Animal Welfare Act 1992 (the Act)). A permit will not be granted if the circus troupe includes a bear, elephant, giraffe, primate, or wild cat (eg a lion), whether or not the animal will be used in the circus (see s55(2) of the Act).
Over 40 councils in Australia have banned exotic animal circuses from performing on council land. For a full list of councils see here. Unfortunately this does not include Queanbeyan NSW. Circus companies with wild animals can therefore get around the ACT’s ban by setting up just over the border in Queanbeyan.
Petting zoos takes infant animals from their mothers well before they are weaned. Often these enclosures have insufficient shade, water and feed. These animals are excessively handled from a young age resulting in learned helplessness— a psychological phenomenon where animals (and humans!) are continually unable to engage in neither fight nor flight, and so in turn respond by shutting down psychologically as a protective mechanism.
Most of these animals will end up in the slaughterhouse when they are no longer cute, or they are continuously bred to produce new babies for display. People who enjoy petting zoos would be horrified to know their actions are contributing to animal harm.
An extension of the petting zoo, young piglets are forced to race each other for food rewards. They are still far too young to be away from their mothers, and often they will be underfed to encourage them to race.
These animals are transported from all over the region, kept in confinement for the day and in all likelihood, will be sent to slaughter shortly or impregnated for breeding and milking. They also perpetuate the idea that farming is a wholesome family pursuit with glossy, happy animals when nothing could be further from the truth
Yard dog trials
These events involve a working dog herding sheep through a course, a dog completing an obstacle course or scaling a high podium. Sheep may be herded multiple times by different dogs and being prey animals, are subject to substantial stress.These events are frequently held in the warmer months increasing risk of heat stress for not only the sheep, but also the dogs themselves.
Domestic animal shows, breeding, equestrian and dog sports
Domestic animal shows rely upon breeding of animals according to aesthetic standards which has resulted in substantial deformities becoming rampant amongst "purebreds". In addition, these show involve frequent transport and confinement of animals. Further, many sports, even where they do not involve the use of live bait, can result in serious harm and even death in the animal participants. Given the overflow of domestic animals in the care of foster groups, the RPSCA and pounds in the surrounding region, continued breeding of "designer" animals for show or for purchase is unconscionable.
What can you do?
In addition to adding your name to the petition, please write or call the council to voice your opposition to the use of animals in entertainment
Phone: 1300 735 025
Cr Tim Overall (Mayor)
Telephone - 6285 6223 or 0410 530 681
Cr Brian Brown
Telephone - 0414 721 291
Cr Mark Schweikert (Deputy Mayor)
Telephone - 0418 904 827
Cr Trudy Taylor
Telephone - 0404 009 679
Cr Peter Bray AM
Telephone - 0425 325 779
Cr Trevor Hicks
Telephone - 0438 685 738
Cr Kenrick Winchester
Telephone 6299 0005
Cr Michele Biscotti
Telephone - 0438 949 599
Cr Peter Marshall
Telephone - 0428 597 227
Cr Pete Harrison
Telephone 6238 3640
Cr Radmila Noveska
Telephone - 0459 857 757
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