A SMALL group of Pietermaritzburg residents, in conjunction with the Facebook group Ban Animal Trading (Bat) South Africa (Bat),on Sunday gathered outside of Brookside Mall, where the Circus Royale is being hosted, in defiance of the circus’ use of domestic animals in their shows. Having previously protested against Mclaren’s Circus, who held a number of shows in Pietermaritzburg earlier this year before moving on to their next location, Bat found that the Circus Royale was using domestic animals in their acts, which they state they are totally against. “We found that they were using animals during their show, domestic animals such as ponies and dogs, and we are against this. The circus is not a place for animals,” said Bat member Tara Aberdeen. Aberdeen said that it was their goal to get rid of all acts which use animals for entertainment.“We need to get rid of using animals for entertainment and use the talents of people. We will not support any act until they rid themselves of animals,” said Aberdeen. Protesting for over two hours, Aberdeen said that the response they got from people passing by was a good one, with many people stopping to congratulate them on their efforts. “Many motorists who passed seem to agree with us and we noticed that the circus wasn’t getting a lot of customers during our time there,” stated Aberdeen. Aberdeen stated that, regardless of the small number of people who came out to protest, it only took a few people to make a difference. Circus Royale declined to comment.