Date Posted: 17 Sep 2001
Latest update - court date set
Both nationally and internationally her supporters are asking
- what has happened about ARNA and the court case brought by Animal
Liberation against NSW Government and Stardust Circus? Well we
are happy to report it is finally moving along - despite the prolonged
absence of Stardust in Western Australia and delaying tactics which
stretched the preliminary court mentions to five separate appearances.
Date for the actual Hearing has now been set for 8 April
2002 at the Downing Centre in Sydney. The case is expected
to run for at least two weeks and both sides will be calling many
witnesses including overseas experts.
The grounds for the case are firstly that both the NSW Government
and Stardust Circus are in breach of Standards for Exhibiting Circus
Animals in NSW in that they permitted the keeping of a solitary
elephant. And secondly that Stardust Circus committed an act of
cruelty in that they authorised the visit of three elephants from
another circus and then without warning removed the elephants,
causing enormous distress to ARNA. ARNA's response to the visiting
elephants and her anguish when they were taken away were captured
on video and this video is an important item of evidence in this
Court cases are costly and must be met from whatever funds Animal
Liberation can raise by stalls and donations from the public. International
interest is very high and there is no doubt a win for ARNA will
send ripples around the world and have an impact wherever exotic
animals are kept captive in circuses. It is without doubt a landmark
case. If you are able to help please send your cheque or money
order to Animal Liberation at Locked Bag 18/202 Newtown NSW 2042
Australia. Please indicate that your donation is for ARNA and it
will be used only for this purpose. Or Credit card donations may
be made via the Animal Liberation website(http://www.animal-lib.org.au)
by clicking on the menu item 'make a donation'.
view court case result
Date Posted: 17 May 2002
Media Release -- Arna Case
MAY 17, 2002
SOLITARY CIRCUS ELEPHANT ARNA SHOWN TO SUFFER CRUELTY
Magistrate accepts expert testimony that Arna suffered a state
of distress, which is clearly within the Act's definition of pain.
Animal Liberation is most likely to appeal against a magistrate's
dismissal of its case for Arna the solitary circus elephant.
Animal Liberation executive director Mark Pearson said because
the court had found that Arna suffered from distress and pain it
was imperative that the court see this matter through to finality.
"The magistrate's decision to dismiss the case on a point of law,
where he believes that the prosecution must show that the defendant
deliberately intended to cause cruelty is, in our legal counsel's
view, profoundly flawed and therefore we will very seriously consider
appeal to the Supreme Court."
During the week the court heard expert testimony that Arna, who
has been on her own since mid 1996 (despite NSW law preventing
this), was suffering.
Veterinarian expert in captive wildlife behaviour Dr Sara Winikoff
"Keeping a social sentient being like an elephant in solitary
confinement is unnatural and inhumane as it provides no opportunity
for natural interaction which is necessary for mental and physical
well being. The distress that Arna experienced on the day in question
demonstrates the circus irresponsibility to public safety and Arna's
welfare. We are an enlightened society where suffering and exploitation
of human and non human animals is not entertainment."
International veterinarian wildlife expert Dr Simon Adams said:
"In my professional opinion the Arna videotape evidence demonstrates
a definitive case of distress in a circus elephant, which it appears
the magistrate accepted. Hopefully if nothing else, we have helped
people to understand the complex behaviour and communication of
this highly intelligent social species, which will facilitate improvements
in their welfare."
Date Posted: 25 Nov 2002
ARNA'S FIRST VICTORY -- A STEP TOWARDS FREEDOM
ANIMAL LIBERATION WINS SUPREME COURT APPEAL
This morning Justice Windeyer of The Supreme Court of NSW handed
down a decision upholding the grounds of Appeal of Animal Liberation
NSW. He set aside the decision of magistrate Lyon's finding that
Animal Liberation had to prove the circus intended to be cruel
and remitted the case to the magistrate to hear in full 'according
to law' when the circus will have to answer to the prosecutions
He also ordered that the defendant (circus) pay Animal Liberation
NSW's legal costs.
Importantly Justice Windeyer relied also on prior decisions in
both the Supreme and Appeals courts. He noted the following ruling
by Justice Dowd;
"The offences created, in my view, are created with the purposeful
legislative intention of protecting animals, in most cases totally
unable to protect themselves from a range of activities which contemplate
certain circumstances in which the court would have to evaluate
whether reasonable steps have been taken." [to prevent cruelty]
The Stardust Circus will now have to answer the charges in the
District court early 2003.
Animal Liberation will, with the help of all you supporters, keep
fighting for Arna until she shares, at least, the freedom of an
open range zoo with another asiatic female elephant. This is a
real possibility. The NSW government is, at this moment, building
a large enclosure for asiatic elephants at Dubbo Open Plains zoo.
The one female and one male asiatic elephants are going there from
Taronga Zoo. Our hope, our campaign for Arna is not too difficult
Date Posted: 30 Aug 2003
ARNA IS NO LONGER ALONE
Arna now has a new friend. Her name is Gigi and is a retired elephant
from Ashton's circus which has now moved away from using exotic
animals. Gigi became solitary as well after her two companions,
Abu and Tanya, died in the last nine months. Reports are that Arna
and Gigi are getting on well and communicating with each other.
This must be such a wonderful improvement for Arna to no longer
be so desperately lonely.
The enormous pressure put on Stardust circus from everyone's support
for the campaign and court case has, no doubt, helped Arna and
now Gigi. The cruelty case involving the distress to Arna caused
by the circus in December 2000 is still yet to be finalised when
the Downing Centre court lists it in accordance with Supreme Court
Justice Windeyer's Orders after we won the Appeal.
But the campaign is not over. Though we welcome this great improvement
for Arna, the campaign to ban all circuses which have wild animals
continues and the animals to be housed in sanctuaries (which we
have in Australia) where they can live the rest of their days free
from abuse and totally unacceptable environments.
what the experts say | what
you can do
Thank you to Animal Liberation - New South Wales for the above information.
For more information on Arna's plight visit http://www.animal-lib.org.au/arna
Elephant crushes circus worker in Yamba
An elephant at the centre of much controversy in 2004-2005, because she was kept as a sole animal, crushes trainer. The truth may never be known but elephants have 'long memories' ....
27 December 2007
A circus employee has been crushed by an elephant in Yamba, on the north coast of New South Wales.
Police say the man was tending to two elephants in an animal exercise enclosure at the Yamba showground when he was killed.
Nobody witnessed the incident and the details are still unclear.
The victim, who was in his sixties, worked as an animal handler at the circus.
He was found with an injury to his back and ambulance officers say the man died of a heart attack.
The WorkCover Authority will investigate the death.