Petition Closed
Petitioning NSPCA The Campaign Manager

Dept. of Environmental Affairs and Depts. of Provincial Conservation: End the use of wild animals in circuses

Wild animals belong in the wild.
(Please also sign the personal pledge not to support circuses using wild animals : NO TO WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES)

Wild animals used in circuses and other travelling acts are routinely subjected to months on the road confined in small, barren cages or in chains. These animals then demonstrate stereotypic and abnormal behaviour patterns indicative of prolonged stress and suffering. It is the stress through the process of confinement and transportation that makes up the bulk of the animals’ suffering.

The NSPCA 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 and travelling menageries. Because cruelty to animals is inherent to such displays, we seek to end such uses of wild animals. We work to achieve this by increasing public awareness and strengthening legislation that protects captive wild and exotic animals.

Animals in circuses do not benefit any educational, conservational or scientific cause.

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 best part about this entertainment is that there are no wild animals that are forced to live life continually on the move, in unnatural surroundings and denied the opportunity to express natural behaviour. The NSPCA applauds these circuses for their progressiveness and for leaving wild animals in the wild where they belong. We don't believe wild animals should be subjected to the conditions of circus life. Regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are all typical and often unavoidable realities for the animals. Performing inappropriate tricks in the name of entertainment also does nothing to foster respect for animals.

Together, we have the power to bring about change. We will be sending a powerful message to Government that South Africans abhor cruelty and that the use of wild animals in circuses must finally be outlawed in this country.

Please sign the petition.

We thank you for being a Warrior for Animals.

PS: If you have not already done so please also sign the campaign letter to get cruel sow crates banned

Letter to
NSPCA The Campaign Manager

Wild animals in circuses face a lifetime of constant travelling, training, inadequate space and denial of the chance to express normal behaviour. This is no way to treat animals in a progressive society.
My strong opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses is based on the following -
• 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. There is no scientific reason to believe that the natural needs of wild animals can be met through the living conditions and husbandry offered by circuses.
• The lack of appropriate social interaction, reduction in time spent foraging and the restricted freedom to perform natural behaviours represent stressors for captive animals. Stress can have short-term as well as long-term behavioural and psychological effects.
• Circus animals travel frequently. Many features of travel, such as forced movement, human handling, noise, trailer movement and confinement constitute sources of stress to captive animals.
• Stereotypical behaviours (pacing, swaying etc) are indications of sub-optimal environments and indications of poorer welfare conditions. Captivity affects behavioural patterns and normal behaviour gives way to a higher percentage of inactivity and/or increased abnormal behaviour (self-directed behaviour or self-injury) and stereotypes.
• Performing inappropriate and unnatural tricks in the name of entertainment also 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.


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