OPPOSING THE CHANGES: Darling Downs Zoo owner Steve Robinson believes a proposed bill before parliament will ban traditional Australian circuses with exotic animals.
OPPOSING THE CHANGES: Darling Downs Zoo owner Steve Robinson believes a proposed bill before parliament will ban traditional Australian circuses with exotic animals. Tara Miko

Bill could kill animal circus: zoo owner

PROPOSED changes to animal exhibition laws today facing scrutiny from a parliamentary committee could kill the "traditional" circus in Queensland.

Darling Downs Zoo owner Steve Robinson, who was previously a circus owner and animal trainer, will appear before the parliamentary agriculture, fisheries and forestry commission.

In a submission to the committee, Mr Robinson called the proposed Exhibited Animals Bill "unworkable from a traditional Australian circus perspective".

"The traditional Australian circus community exhorts the committee to consider abandoning this bill on the grounds that it is an ill conceived, agenda driven piece of discriminatory legislation in it's (sic) present form," he said.

"This current bill will result in an Act that will effectively ban traditional Australian circus with exotic animals in this state."

Mr Robinson said no traditional animal circuses had ever been convicted of animal cruelty, and circus animals were not a risk to human or animal health and safety.

However the RSPCA Queensland, which will also appear today, praised the bill's moves to protect animal welfare.

RSPCA principal scientist Dr Mandy Paterson said she "congratulated" the government for the bill, although expressed concerns about the ill or injured animals being displayed.

But Animal Liberation Queensland, which opposes the zoos and aquarium's existence, said the bill was too focused on business at the animal's expense.

"ALQ recommends reconsidering this bill with a much stronger focus on animal welfare, stronger penalties, and the removal of species-specific exemptions," ALQ president Chay Neal said.

- APN NEWSDESK


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