Charges withdrawn against circus animal handlers accused of abuse

2016-04-26 18:44
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Johannesburg – Charges against three animal handlers accused of mistreating a troop of elephants that are part of the Brian Boswell Circus have been withdrawn, the NSPCA said on Tuesday.

"The charges were withdrawn by the director of public prosecutions last week," said NSPCA spokesperson Isabel Wentzel.

"We are still trying to get the exact reasons for it. As it stands at the moment, there has been no official reasons as to why the charges were withdrawn," Wentzel said.

They intended to follow-up on the matter and hopefully get the case reopened.

It was not immediately clear whether the three accused – Jane Boswell, who is the wife of the circus owner Brian, her daughter Georgina, and elephant handler David Marais – had made an appearance at the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court.

'We will seek retribution'

The three were accused of beating, chaining, confining and not providing sufficient water and shade to elephants between December 2012 and January 2013.

They faced charges relating to the contravention of the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962.

Three years ago, Carte Blanche aired footage of the alleged abuse.

News24 contacted Brian Boswell for comment following the withdrawal of the case.

"I think the whole thing was fabricated. That is my personal opinion, but I will go to my lawyers now and we will seek retribution," he said.

Wentzel, however, dismissed these claims and said they had video footage detailing the abusive acts.

The footage was reportedly taken by a member of the public. "The witnesses have given their statements and these were investigated," she said.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  animals

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