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Exotic Animals in Circuses

We would prefer that no animals (including domestic animals) be used in circuses to ensure that they aren’t portrayed in ways that may objectify them or subject them to indignity or ridicule.

Life in a circus for animals such as elephants, large cats and monkeys is not compatible with their physiological, social and psychological needs. Performing circus animals are kept for prolonged periods in close confinement, in artificial social groups and are continually being transported between circus venues for the duration of their performing lives. This life leads to stress, boredom and often results in abnormal actions and temperaments such as repetitive pacing or swaying.

It is not that these animals are mistreated by their keepers. For the most part, when RSPCA inspectors visit circuses and inspect their animals against the requirements of the National Circus Standards or their state or territory equivalent, they are satisfied with the level of compliance with those standards that they are able to assess during an inspection.

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what RSPCA NSW is doing

Our policy is based on the fact that no circus, no matter how well managed, can provide an appropriate environment for wild animals. Unless there is strong and active discouragement from the local community, circuses will continue to breed and train other wild animals for the sole

purpose of performing. Acting to prevent circuses using wild animals from appearing on council land sends a clear message that this activity is no longer acceptable to the Australian community.


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