McLaren Circus aims to take the Phoenix community by storm in their marquee, with daring acts, animal performances, and heartbreaking laughs and fun.
However, not everyone is excited about the circus’s presence in town and how it entertains the crowds of onlookers who crave entertainment after a tumultuous 17 months of lockdown.
Prathna Singh of Ban Animal Trading South Africa said McLaren Circus is the only circus in South Africa that still uses animals in its performances.
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âAs the rest of the world increasingly becomes aware of the unethical ways in which circus animals are treated and should live, other countries have gone so far as to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. Circus animals live in cramped conditions, far from all that is natural and instinctive to them. They spend their lives being transported from city to city in tiny trailers and being forced to perform mindless tricks that are nothing like their natural behavior, âSingh said.
The circus company has responded to animal rights groups and activists across the country, via its website, on how they treat their animals and why it is important to showcase them, especially to communities that do not. would not necessarily see them in the wild.
There is also an embedded video on their website which can be viewed on Youtube which outlines their case on animal shows in the circus industry.
âMcLaren Circus has always maintained a high standard of animal care. All of our animals receive love and care, 24 hours a day. We consult with vets across South Africa to maintain this high standard. Particular attention is paid to the diet of all our animals and they receive fresh drinking water daily. Our animals are exercised daily and receive various forms of stimulation through training and environmental enrichment, âthe site article read.
However, Singh insists that the exploitation of animals for entertainment is old-fashioned, immoral, and unnecessary – many circuses only use humans in their performances, which is arguably much more impressive and entertaining.
Ban Animal Trading South Africa holds events outside the circus to raise awareness of the plight of animals and educate people on why they should not support this form of exploitation.
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âA lot of people think their kids would benefit from seeing animals at the circus, but that’s not true. There is no educational value in seeing wild animals perform tricks that are not at all similar to their behavior in the wild. Most importantly, by taking our kids to the circus, we teach them that it’s okay to confine and exploit other beings to our advantage, without regard or respect for them. Let us show our children that making more compassionate choices will help create a better world for all of us, âSingh said.
The owner of the circus, David McLaren, said: âThe circus has regular veterinary inspections. These are carried out by various veterinary specialists across the country. Our circus vet has watched our animals for many years, however, we consult with other vets and this helps us maintain a high standard of animal care. All our animals receive the necessary vaccines and are dewormed twice a year. The health and welfare of our animals is of the utmost importance at all times. “
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