For the first time in history, no wild animal will be forced to perform under Australia’s big top, now that Stardust Circus – the last circus in Australia that was still using wild animals – has retired the lions and monkeys it was using.
Here at PETA, we’re jumping for joy to hear it – and we’re far from alone! The overwhelming majority of Australians understand that captivity is a living hell for animals such as monkeys and lions and that a circus environment can’t possibly meet their complex needs.
In 2020, a survey conducted by YouGov and funded by PETA found that 75% of Australians wanted to see a ban on circuses using exotic animals. The survey found that 85% of Australians between the ages of 18 and 34 supported such a ban.
Interestingly, a majority of people with children under the age of 18 at home (80%) said that they support a ban, demonstrating that few families consider watching frustrated, stressed, and depressed animals being forced to perform painful tricks under the Victorian-era big top a form of family entertainment.
Lions in their natural habitat roam vast areas, claiming territory and seeking out mates, but they can’t do this while being confined to wagons or trucks for days at a time during a circus tour.
Macaque monkeys are our close relatives, and they prefer to live in large mixed groups, not inside metal cages with limited opportunities to socialise.
These days, people go to the circus to see talented human performers, not psychologically tormented animals.
Stardust must now do the right thing by the lions and monkeys in its care by retiring them to a reputable sanctuary, where they’d be able to have some semblance of the natural life that they’ve been robbed of for so long.
We urgently need to get a ban on wild animals in travelling circuses written into law. Australia needs to join the growing list of countries – including Austria, England, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Scotland – that have such a law to make sure this kind of cruelty never occurs again.
Please join the thousands of PETA supporters who have already taken action for animals in circuses by asking your MP to bring in a ban: