Circus protest: animal activists picket Boswell’s show

2012-07-31 00:00

BRIAN Boswell’s Circus came under fire at the weekend as animal rights activists demonstrated outside the circus in Durban.

The activists, including Animal Rights in Action, are pushing for the abolishment of wild animals in circuses — and eventually the involvement of all animals in circuses.

On Sunday, they protested outside Brian Boswell’s Circus, which features wild animals, including lions and elephants, in its acts.

Steve Smit, the co-founder and the spokesperson of Animal Rights in Action, said the protest outside the circus was a spontaneous action by people compassionate about animals who wanted to bring attention to their plight.

“This was just to bring attention to the passers-by and those attending the circus that wild animals do not belong in circuses.”

He said the animals were subjected to an unnatural environment by being kept in cages and trained for human amusement, and most of them were being traumatised by being moved from place to place.

“Boswell will tell you that his animals are not wild animals as they were bred in captivity, but these animals still retain all of their natural animal instincts and it is cruel to keep them locked up in cages and performing for human amusement.”

Smit said Animal Rights in Action was pushing for the abolishment of wild animals in circuses and eventually for the abolishment of all animals in circuses.

“We are not against circuses; there are many and very successful circuses that do not have animals in them.” Smit called on the country’s legislature to join progressive nations and outlaw the involvement of animals in circuses.

Boswell told The Witness that he was aware of the protest and he respected the activists’ right to protest. “I do not know these people or what the protest was about.”

He insisted that his animals were not wild as they were born in captivity. “These are my animals and I love and treat them very well. I have had visits from the SPCA and animals rights activists and there is nothing cruel in my operation.”

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