SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Circuses / Travelling Menageries

Animals in Entertainment, Sport, and Work

SPCA advocates for human animal interactions that are cognisant of animal welfare and ensure the physical, health, and behavioural needs of the animal are met before, during, and after an event.

SPCA opposes the use of animals in circuses or travelling menageries because the demands placed on the animals to meet the entertainment schedule result in negative impacts to their welfare.

Animals in circuses and travelling menageries are subjected to frequent transportation for long durations to meet the scheduling needs of the show. Frequent transportation of animals, including long duration times, can have negative impacts to an animal’s welfare due to exposure to thermal extremes, lack of access to food and water, and restriction of movement due to housing constraints.

(see Transportation in Farmed Animals position statements for more information)

SPCA opposes the use of animals in circuses or travelling menageries where the demands placed on the animals to meet the program needs result in negative impacts to their welfare.

Animals in circuses and travelling menageries are subjected to intense auditory and visual stimulation during the program, including but not limited to bright lights, and loud noises which can have negative impacts on their welfare.

SPCA opposes the use of animals in circuses or travelling menageries where the demands placed on the animals to perform behaviours that push the animal beyond their physical and psychological limits and which have negative impacts on their welfare. Animals in circuses may be subjected to training methods that can have negative impacts to welfare. SPCA advocates for the use of force-free, low-stress methods of animal training and handling.

SPCA believes the use of these animals does not contribute to educational, conservational or scientific cause, and their confinement, continual transportation, and the requirement for them to perform causes unavoidable harms to their welfare.

SPCA opposes the use of wild animals in performances, travelling exhibitions or shows due to the negative impacts on animal welfare by these practices.

‘Wild animals’ in this context refers to non-domesticated species.

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