You can help end cruelty to circus animals

Exotic animals suffer in circuses

Around the world, the plight of animals in circuses is increasingly heard. National, regional and local governments in at least 30 countries have already banned the use of exotic or all animals in circuses. An increasing number of Australian councils are taking part in this trend, but the Australian Federal and State Governments policies are failing these animals.

Circuses defend the use of exotic animals by claiming the animals are loved and well cared for. But, adding to an overwhelming body of evidence, the 2009 scientific review ‘Are wild animals suited to a travelling circus life?’ by the University of Bristol in the UK confirms that “the species of non-domesticated animals commonly kept in circuses appear the least suited to a circus life.”

Animals such as lions and monkeys are confined to barren cages, trucked from town to town, and forced to perform unnatural and demeaning ‘tricks’ in the name of ‘entertainment’.

“What might be an afternoon at the big top for some people can be a life of chronic boredom, confinement and stress for animals — who are denied the ability to express their most basic natural behaviours.” – Animals Australia

Animals Australia’s position on circus animals

“For Animals Australia, entertainment stops where animal suffering begins. Circuses cannot recreate a natural environment nor can animals in circuses perform much natural behaviour. A non-domesticated animal’s life is consequently impoverished and the keeping of exotic animals in circuses should therefore be banned. The animals currently being kept by circuses need to be re-homed in a quality sanctuary or zoo.” – Animals Australia

Supporting Animals Australia

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care provider based in the Sydney greater metropolitan area and Hunter Central Coast of N.S.W, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people in N.S.W, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at

How you can help

There are a few ways you can help stamp out cruelty to circus animals.

1] Refuse to pay for animal suffering. Pledge to only visit animal free circuses.

2] Tell your family and friends about the cruelty behind the big top, and explain to your children why you won’t take them to a circus with exotic animals.

3] Write to your council, state and federal government to demand a ban on exotic animals in circuses.

4] Donate to Animals Australia to support their crucial campaigns.


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