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Monday, April 22, 2013

Activists call for ban on circus animals


Brian Boswell during a protest against at his circuses on Sunday afternoon in Centurion.

Picture: Etienne Creux
from: iol.co.za
By MOGOMOTSI MAGOME
April 22 2013
Pretoria - More than 100 protesters and animal rights activists have vowed to approach Parliament and the courts to force an outright ban on the use of animals by circuses.
They took to the streets on Sunday, protesting outside the Brian Boswell’s Circus in Centurion, where audiences were flocking to see the last day of the show to be held in the city.
The protests were sparked by a documentary on television programme Carte Blanche, which showed two groomers working for the circus abusing two elephants named Wanky and Themba.
The two elephants, which were at the circus on Sunday, were shown to be abused by the groomers, who have both been fired from the circus.
Activists for Animals Africa spokeswoman, Miranda Jordan, said they would fight hard to ensure that the Animals Protection Act is changed so that it bans the use of animals in circuses.
 
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Animal activists against the use of animals in circuses protest in Centurion at Brian Boswell s Circus on April 22, 2013.
 Picture: Etienne Creux
Jordan said most of the audiences would not buy tickets to the circus if they knew how these animals were treated away from the stage. “We are prepared to fight through the courts and Parliament to ensure that circuses are banned from using all wild animals.
“The kind of methods that are used by these people to train the animals are really shocking and amount to abuse.
“Because the circus travels around, these animals are usually transported for many hours in trucks, which is also not good for them,” said Jordan.
“These two elephants that are here live only by themselves and are boxed in for long periods of time. All over the world there’s a move to ban the use of animals in circuses, and South Africa should not be an exception,” she said.
She said the group had written to Parliament about changing the Animal Protection Act and had acquired the services of an attorney to exploit possible court action.
Boswell denied all the allegations of animal abuse levelled against him and his staff, saying the two groomers were fired once information about their conduct surfaced.
If found guilty of animal cruelty and abuse, Boswell could lose his animals and licence to own any wild animals.
He lashed out at the protesters on Sunday, saying animals had been used at circuses for more that 256 years. “This is an illegal protest, they have not been granted permission by the police to protest. But on the issues they are raising, it is not true that we abuse animals.
“We take good care of the animals and we can prove this. We have been inspected more than 17 times by the SPCA in 2013 and they found that everything is fine.
read more:
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/activists-call-for-ban-on-circus-animals-1.1504215

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