McLaren Circus issued warning by Cape of Good Hope SPCA for violations

Posted on 29 March 2022 By Taylah Strauss

The Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has issued a warning to the McLaren Circus to address violations of the Animal Protection Act.

The City of Cape Town has withdrawn, and later reissued an Events Permit to McLaren Circus, following these findings.

The travelling circus arrived in Muizenberg on 23 March and plans to stay until 3 April. Jaco Pieterse and Jeffrey Mfini, Chief Inspector and Inspector of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA respectively, conducted an inspection into the circus five days after their arrival.

Although the management team granted access, photographs of the cages and concerns found were not permitted.

The inspection revealed at least six violations of the Animal Protection Act, resulting in a warning to address certain violations within 48 hours and others within seven days.

Violations included:

  • A lioness was found to be confined to the front compartment of the trailer transporting big cats, isolating her from the other lions. The compartment did not have sufficient space and the lioness was not permitted to the outdoor exercise area.
  • A lioness did not have access to drinking water.
  • Concerns were raised about the dental state of three French poodles. A veterinary report of all three dogs must be forwarded to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA within 48 hours. The report should confirm that the dogs were examined and treated where necessary, and that they are fit to perform.
  • Lions and Bengal tigers must receive additional environmental enrichment to alleviate captive stress. Environmental enrichment found in the big cats exercise area was insufficient, and should be replaced within 48 hours.
  • Cages and enclosures were found to be in a foul condition with a rancid smell. Cages and enclosures must be cleaned at least once a day.
  • A fly problem, particularly among the lions and Bengal tigers, must be addressed promptly to protect the animals from external parasites.
  • The ramp in the lion compartment has no gridding to prevent lions from slipping or getting injured. Gridding must be placed within seven days.

The warning was issued under the terms of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 169 of 1993. Should McLaren Circus fail to comply, they may be liable for prosecution under the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 or the Performing Animals Protection Act 24 of 1935.

More than 100 animal rights activists protested outside the McLaren Circus shortly after they arrived.

Credit: The Cape of Good Hope SPCA

Credit: The Cape of Good Hope SPCA

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA stated on its website that it is ‘opposed to wild animals in circuses. Wild animals belong in the wild’.

Picture: Screenshot from video


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