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Welcome to the circus


As you enter the grounds the flashing lights, funfair music excites you. Your anticipation builds as you smell the popcorn, sawdust and the animal cruelty. Circus animals are destined to a life of torment as they are transported in cramped quarters around the country and forced to perform for the entertainment of man. These animals are not given any choice in the path their lives take; they are not given the option of bettering their position.

© FOUR PAWS | Fred Dott

The number of circuses using animals as part of their act is dropping, but they still exist. In South Africa there are two large circuses which utilize animals extensively. These circuses rely heavily on their animal acts to bring in revenue and make the circus profitable. They market themselves as “traditional” circuses. Perhaps though, they should consider that humanity has moved forward from the “traditional” view of animals and their needs. The modern man will acknowledge that animals can feel pain and distress, this includes emotional distress. We acknowledge that animals are sentient beings with feelings.

How do wild animals find themselves in the ring?

These animals are often the byproduct of indiscriminate and unethical breeding of captive animals. The animals are sold and traded as mere objects. Once acquired by the circus the animal will need to be trained to perform unnatural acts under bright lights and in front of an audience. As this is stressful and unnatural to the animal, training will be done utilizing questionable methods. Eventually the animal submits and performs as requested by the trainer; it is then destined to a life of performance. A performing animal will be transported around the country and forced to perform, all of this puts unnecessary stress on the animal and increases the risk of stress related illness.


Circus owners will throw many unfounded justifications for continuing wild animal performances. Each and every justification can be countered by utilizing logic and a basic knowledge of the animals welfare needs. For every poor animal that is enslaved into this lifestyle there is a healthy and holistic alternative lifestyle. However this does require human intervention. Circus owners claim to love their animals, if this is true then they should take them off the stage and provide them with an alternative and natural life appropriate to their species.


 Have a fun night out and support a circus without animal acts.  Say NO to animals in the circus!