Circus to stop fish regurgitation act

2010-09-08 21:32

Sydney - A Russian circus has been forced to cancel an act in which a woman swallows a live fish and regurgitates it after Australian officials deemed it cruel.

The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Industry and Investment put a stop to the act by the Great Moscow Circus which is performing in Sydney after receiving complaints from the public.

Officials said the trick was in breach of the Animals Protection Act.

"Circuses operating in NSW must comply with prescribed standards for the welfare of animals," said a statement from the department.

The decision was welcomed by animal rights campaigners.

"Scientific research shows fish are capable of suffering and are therefore protected under the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act," Animals Australia executive director Glenys Oogjes said in a statement.

"Far from educational, this was an inhumane and foolish act which reflected badly on the Moscow Circus."

A spokesperson for the Great Moscow Circus said the manager was too busy on Wednesday, Thursday and possibly also Friday to comment.