Some people did not share in the fun of the McClaren Circus which last week visited Paarl.
About 30 members of the organisation, Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), protested peacefully on Saturday afternoon outside the circus grounds, at De Poort in Paarl South.
BWC are against the use of animals in the circus and apparently protests in every town that the circus visits.
According to the organiser of the Paarl protest, Eugénie Kapp, it is cruel to teach animals tricks and then ask people money for it.
“There are numerous other successful circuses that do not make use of animals. People have a choice, but animals don’t,” said Kapp.
The protesters demanded that the animals be placed in a sanctuary.
The owner of the circus, David McClaren, said however that most of the animals would probably end up in a zoo because they would not survive in the wild.
“The zoo is just another form of confinement. I think the circus is the lesser of two evils because here the animals don’t get bored,” said McClaren.
McClaren was adamant that the circus animals receive good care and that the SPCA animal welfare society routinely visits in order to assess the health of the animals.
Linda Groenewald, manager of the Paarl SPCA, confirmed that the animals were in good health and that the circus met all the necessary requirements when they visited in previous years.
“The SPCA movement however, is against animals in circuses,” said Groenewald, “animals should live normally in their own habitat and environment.”
The McClaren circus is one of only two circuses in South Africa that make use of animals during their performances.
Their line-up includes lions, tigers, ponies, snakes, camels and even alligators.