• First state-wide ban on animal circuses in Australia proposed by Mark Pearson and Alex Greenwich, Independent MP for Sydney

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Today the Hon. Mark Pearson from the Animal Justice Party informed the NSW Legislative Council of his intent to introduce a bill to ban circuses from using most types of animals in NSW. The bill will seek to amend the Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986 to prohibit the exhibition of specified animals in connection with a circus, amusement park, fair or similar place of entertainment. The bill is co sponsored by Alex Greenwich, Independent MP for Sydney.

    The ACT has banned circuses using certain species of wild animals since 1992. Other jurisdictions around the world have banned wild animal circuses, including countries such as Peru, El Salvador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia, Cyprus, Netherlands and Greece.

    In NSW several local Councils have banned animal circuses from performing on Council land.

    Mark Pearson: “The problem with leaving the bans to local Councils is that they can only ban the circuses from setting up on Council land. So you have the local authority representing the community banning these circuses out of concern for the animals, but then they bring in their lions and monkeys and buffalos anyway and just set up their cages on private land. That’s why we need a ban at the State level, and enshrined in legislation.
    If passed, this bill will set the benchmark for the rest of the country. We know that across the border in the ACT lions and bears and giraffes can’t be used in circuses. But we think NSW should go further and ban other animals from being subjected to a life of demeaning circus tricks and being carted around the State in tiny cages. Circuses will still be able to have their pets with them, but that’s about it.”

    What’s wrong with animals in circuses?

    Training regimes and performances force circus animals to engage in unnatural behaviour merely in the name of ‘entertainment’. When not ‘performing’ these animals are denied the opportunity to roam freely, form complex social groups, and manage their surroundings. The lack of stimulation leads the animals to exhibit repetitive behaviours such as pacing and swaying. These behaviours indicate stress, anxiousness and lethargy.

    Alex Greenwich: “Forcing animals to undergo a lifetime of travelling long distances, trapped in tiny cages while exposed to constant changing weather conditions and subjecting them to harsh training regimes so they can do tricks on command is a cruel and archaic form of entertainment. Making wild and non-domestic animals perform unnatural stunts is fast becoming unacceptable in society and it’s time the Parliament put an end to this cruelty.”

    An hour of entertainment for the audience means a lifetime of imprisonment and misery for the animals. Animals performing in circuses are a relic of less enlightened times and have no part in a modern, compassionate state such as NSW

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    Image courtesy of Animal Liberation ACT

  • 23/02/2016: Mark Pearson gives notice of Animal Justice Party’s next bill, the Animal Research Amendment (Primates) Bill

    It was another historic day on Tuesday the 23rd of February 2016, the first sitting day back for the Legislative Council of NSW saw animals enter the mix of cross party politics. Mark Pearson of the Animal Justice Party gave notice of his next bill which seeks to bring an end to animal research to be carried out on primates in the name of science.

    The Animal Research Amendment (Primates) Bill will amend the Animal Research Act 1985 to prohibit the use, keeping or supplying of primates in carrying out animal research. It will prohibit the use, supply or keeping of primates in connection with animal research and will make it illegal for a person (including an accredited research establishment, a holder of an animal research authority or a licensed animal supplier) to use, keep or supply a primate in connection with animal research.

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    Primates are virtually the only animals taken from the wild in large numbers for bio-medical research. Even though breeding colonies exist, it is still estimated that over 1,000,000 primates are taken every year from the wild, with over two thirds being used for bio-medical research. The NSW Sydney facility at Wallacia breeds primates in captive colonies for research.

    A great ape research ban, or severe restrictions on the use of great apes in research, is currently in place in the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Austria. These countries have ruled that chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans are cognitively so similar to humans that using them as test subjects is unethical. Austria is the only country in the world where experiments on lesser apes, the gibbons, are completely banned too.

    The use of animals for research and testing is totally unacceptable, inaccurate and outdated. Instead, Australian researchers should be using non-animal research methods which have been proved to be more accurate and of greater relevance, producing improved results faster. In 2013 Humane Research Australia commissioned a Nexus Research Poll which revealed that most Australians (60%) are opposed to the use of primates in research.

    Bio-medical and pharmaceutical research claims the lives of an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 non-human primates worldwide each year, fueling the primate trade to meet demand. Despite this, strong evidence suggests that research using animal models provides unreliable results. Increasing numbers of scientists and clinicians are challenging animal experimentation on medical and scientific grounds.

  • 22/10/2015: History Made-Mark introduces the AJP’s first bill into NSW parliament

    Today a historic milestone was achieved. The Hon. Mark Pearson introduced the first AJP bill into NSW parliament. Mark delivered a powerful second reading speech of the bill which focuses on the fundamental spirit of the Act in which it amends, that is people who farm, work with and care for animals have a duty of care to PREVENT cruelty occurring. It is a proactive bill which given the public and industry responses to animal cruelty should be supported.

    Check the status of and download a copy of the bill HERE

    Watch Mark’s powerful speech below.

  • 03/06/2015: Notice of Motion to bring in a bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979

    Mr Pearson to move—

    That leave be given to bring in a bill for an Act to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 to impose certain requirements relating to the operation of abattoirs and intensive livestock keeping facilities for the purposes of ensuring the humane treatment of stock animals.

    Watch Mark’s video overview of the bill below.

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