Hudson Circus Protest
Activists protested Hudson circus and their use of non-human animals in their shows. Hudson’s claims that they “provide large and spacious outdoor yards and enclosures that are tailored to suit each of [our] animal species”, the non-human animals used were kept in gravel yards with hay thrown haphazardly on the ground. The entire space was enclosed by busy roads across from the Belconnen shopping centre.
Despite attempts by their manager to intimidate and force an activist to move away, most circus-goers took a flyer and several expressed that they were uncomfortable with the use of animals. One attendee had thought the ACT legislation meant that no animals were going to be used in the event and was disappointed to hear that Hudson used water buffalo, camels, horses and llamas. Interestingly, one attendee tried to justify attending by stating they worked for the RSPCA - an insight into the speciesist attitudes of the organisation.
Our protest was also visible from the multiple interactions with many motorists honking and waving in support.
The support for the use of animals in circuses is collapsing - indeed the relatively small number of circus attendees reflects this. Canberra has already recognised that the use of “exotic” non-human animals is morally wrong and it is time to fix the legislation to be consistent and in line with the territory’s decision to recognise animal sentience in the forthcoming animal welfare legislation update.