STANDING as the barrier of defence for animals who they deem are being mistreated and exploited by human beings, The Ban Animal Trading (Bat) activist group held a protest on Saturday, April 20. As part of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, the Bat group held their protest at the Natal Zoological Gardens in Camperdown.“The purpose of this protest was to speak up and raise awareness for animals that are held captive and bred for human entertainment and tourism.“We hope to end the poaching of elephants and rhinos, exploitative practices of keeping wild animals in zoos and to hopefully end the trade of ivory and rhino horns,” said protest organiser Saihashna Rajkumar. Prior to this protest, marches were organised in from the beginning of April in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Aiming to end animal use, abuse and exploitation through education and action, Rajkumar said they believe that rules would only be changed and that governments would only listen once citizens in an abundance spoke up and acted. “Education is key. We will first be the change, then spread the truth and educate and then slowly but surely people will change.“We will continue to keep on spreading awareness about animal extinction and cruelty until South African governments ban animal trading, abuse and exploitation,” said Rajkumar.