GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - A circus company is touring the Garden Route currently.
This week the Garden Route SPCA produced a media release explaining its stance on the use of animals in circuses. It stated:
The National SPCA is opposed to any degree of confinement or the use of any animal in sport, entertainment or exhibition likely to cause distress or suffering or which may adversely affect the animal's welfare. The NSPCA is totally opposed to exhibitions or presentations of wildlife in circuses. Because cruelty to animals is inherent to such displays, it seeks to end such uses of wild animals.
There are circuses around the world which boast a variety of talented acts that pay tribute to the capabilities of man and his extraordinary ability to stretch the limits. The NSPCA applauds these circuses for their progressiveness and for leaving wild animals in the wild where they belong.
An inhumane existence day after day
• Wild animals used in circuses are subjected to months on the road confined in small, barren cages or in chains.
The strain caused by imprisonment and transportation makes up the bulk of the animals' suffering.
The frequent travelling together with human handling, noise, trailer movement and confinement add to the stress of the captive animals.
These animals then demonstrate abnormal behaviour patterns indicative of prolonged stress and suffering and cause stereotypical behaviours like swaying, head-bobbing, incessant pacing and sometimes even self-harm. These indicate sub-optimal environments and poorer welfare conditions.
• Natural environments cannot be recreated in circuses. Complex environments cannot be set up in circuses because of frequent travelling and extremely small accommodation and exercise areas. Circus animals' lives are inevitably impoverished.
• The lack of appropriate social interaction, reduction in time spent foraging and the restricted freedom to perform natural behaviours stresses captive animals.
Anxiety can have short-term as well as long-term behavioural and psychological effects.
• Performing inappropriate and unnatural tricks in the name of entertainment does nothing to foster respect for animals.
• Performing wild animals pose a real threat to public safety, precisely because they are wild and therefore unpredictable. No amount of training or affection can eliminate this danger.
• Animals in circuses do not benefit any educational, conservational or scientific cause.
Source of information (shortened): https://nspca.co.za/circuses/
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