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Human Performers Campaign To End Animal Circus

The Last Animal Circus? Human Performers Launch Campaign To End Animal Circuses

SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) and The Body Shop are launching today, a campaign to end exotic animal circuses in New Zealand. SAFE have been campaigning successfully against animal circuses for over a decade, and were responsible for the relocation of two circus chimps to a sanctuary in Africa.

The Government are now re-writing regulations governing animal circuses. These draft regulations are open for public consultation, until 14th November. SAFE and The Body Shop are appealing to the public to complete postcard submissions available at The Body Shops nation-wide, supporting an end to exotic animal circuses.

Media Event: Human circus performers are launching a nation-wide campaign to End Animal Circuses in NZ.

Where: Inside & outside 225 The Body Shop, Queen St, (cnr Darby St), Auckland.

When: Monday, 13th October 2003, 1.15pm.

These regulations are being re-written for the first time since the new Animal Welfare Act was passed in 2000. They will not be reviewed for at least another 10 years.

Gary Reese, Spokesperson for SAFE, said " Exotic animals are trained through coercion and deprivation, then confined and transported in tiny cages. This campaign is targeting a rare opportunity to ban exotic animal circuses in this country. Animal Circuses are dying out and New Zealand should be one of the many countries that are banning them entirely".

Shelly Mansfield, Campaign Manager for The Body Shop New Zealand said "They are confined and transported in the tiniest of cages, chained to posts, and made to perform for human entertainment, when their only crime is not being human. There is absolutely no excuse for this happening in New Zealand. Watching animals suffer is not entertainment, it is pure cruelty and no one should enjoy watching it. These animals deserve to be in their natural habitat. You would never see a chimpanzee riding a tricycle and wearing a tutu by choice in the jungles of Zambia, lets get real."

… Fifteen countries, including Ireland, Brazil, Sweden and Singapore have totally or partially banned circuses with exotic animals on grounds of cruelty. … New Zealand has the lowest number of registered circuses with exotic animals than ever before, with only one remaining touring circus with exotic animals - the Whirling Brothers Circus. They have eight exotic animals, including Jumbo the elephant.

SAFE has run a highly successful campaign, over the last decade, to end animal circuses. With the support of The Body Shop, a chimpanzee bred in a NZ circus, Buddy, was rescued from Samoa and relocated along with his brother, Sonny a year later, to the world's largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Zambia. SAFE has also negotiated with the circus that previously owned these chimpanzees, to no longer keep exotic animals.

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