Online backlash: Sistic cancels dog circus show from China just 1 day after tickets went on sale

Online backlash: Sistic cancels dog circus show from China just 1 day after tickets went on sale

Coconuts Singapore·2017-12-13 01:05

The animal lovers of Singapore were utterly horrified on Friday morning when Sistic put up an event called Chinese New Year Dog Circus on its Facebook page to announce the start of ticket sales. Featuring poodles performing stunts such as juggling circus props and acrobatics, the dog circus was scheduled for February 2018 at Resorts World Sentosa to welcome the Year of the Dog during the Lunar New Year celebrations.

With ticket prices ranging from S$68 to S$108, the two-day performance featured three one-and-a-half hour shows in a day, at 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm.

Unsurprisingly, online backlash was swift, with netizens flooding the ticketing operator’s page, condemning it for being unethical and for supporting animal cruelty by bringing in the show.

Derrick Tan, the president of animal welfare group Voices For Animals, also chimed in to relay his dismay.

By Friday night, a petition to ban the show in Singapore was already making the rounds online. Created by animal advocate Summer Ong, the petition was directed at Resorts World Sentosa, Sistic, and HE Productions, the show’s promoter. It described the practice of using animals for entertainment as a “severely archaic, cruel, and unethical” one, and received 7,236 signatures before it was closed on Saturday afternoon.

“To be even campaigning for this is baffling because Singapore prides herself as a progressive first world nation,” Ong told TODAY. “It’s extremely disappointing to see RWS and SISTIC promoting such animal performance and animal cruelty. And we are all unsure and very appalled why RWS and Sistic gave the green light to approve this China dog circus.”

Quick to cut its losses, Sistic put up an update the next day to announce that the show was cancelled, and the “first and only dog circus from China” event listing was subsequently removed from its website.

But according to TODAY, spokesman Harry Yap from HE Productions said that the show will still go on — this time without the poodle performance segment.

“We decided to put a stop (to ticket sales) and restructure our programme,” Yap explained. “We will temporarily take down (our listings) from Sistic and re-plan our show. We need to discuss with the performers in China and let the public understand the dogs were not ill-treated.”

Although we’re left wondering, how does an event billed as a “dog circus” go on without the canines?

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Singapore Animal abuse