CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town withdrew McLaren Circus’s event permit on Tuesday, cancelling the show on its opening day after an inspection by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA uncovered multiple animal welfare contraventions.
The Cape SPCA’s inspection of McLaren Circus was conducted on Monday by its chief inspector Jaco Pieterse and inspector Jeffrey Mfini, following a protest by animal rights activists outside the circus over the weekend.
The inspection found at least six contraventions of the Animal Protection Act, that included no access to drinking water for a lioness, inadequate enclosures for McLaren’s big cats, concerns regarding three poodles’ dental state, no environmental enrichment for the big cats, and fly infestations in the animals’ enclosures, possibly a result of the poor hygiene practices by the circus, the animal welfare organisation reported on Tuesday.
The Cape SPCA, which believes wild animals belong in the wild, issued McLaren Circus with a warning in terms of which some of the contraventions have to be addressed within 48 hours and others within seven days.
The result of SPCA’s inspection prompted the City of Cape Town to withdraw its event permit up until the time the SPCA provided the City with written confirmation that the circus had resolved the evident contraventions of the Animal Protections Act, the McLaren Circus said via social media on Tuesday.
The McLaren Circus is being held in Muizenberg, and the first show was set to begin on Tuesday.
“These warnings, which we are acknowledging as recommendations, have already been attended to. We await the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to issue a statement in this regard, after the follow-up inspection,” McLaren Circus said.
“Most of the points listed on the warnings were minor concerns and were attended to within a matter of minutes before the end of the day, yesterday,” it added.
The circus has offered refunds to those who purchased tickets for Tuesday’s evening show.
Ticket prices range from R130 to R210, with shows planned from Tuesday until Sunday, April 3.
There have been mixed reactions to the result of SPCA’s inspection and the City’s subsequent withdrawal of the event permit.
“Please please please do not give up. U have a lot of people behind you. Having seen a few of your shows I also feel this is so unnecessary. Hope you get it sorted soon and thank u for looking after ur animals so well,” said one commentator on social media.
“Yes!!!! Take that Dave McLaren. Well done SPCA and the CoCT! I hope other municipalities do the same, otherwise they will simply go set up shop in the next city. These animals need to be taken away from them,” said another.