Victory for Elephants in South Africa: No More Export to Circuses!

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The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) welcomes the judgement of the Pietermaritzburg High Court prohibiting the export of elephants from South Africa.

The High Court action followed when circus owner Mr Brian Boswell was refused a permit to export circus-trained elephants to Dubai, by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

The “Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants”, which are issued by the national Minister of Environmental Affairs under the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA), prohibits the export of wild or captive elephants.

The matter came before the Pietermaritzburg High Court where Judge Dhaya Pillay handed down the Ruling that NEMBA applied to all State organs, provincially and nationally. Accordingly, no wild or captive elephant may be exported for the purpose of keeping it in captivity in a controlled environment.

Additionally, Judge Pillay made reference to the African elephant’s listing as a “protected species” which qualifies for special protection under CITES regulations.

The NSPCA opposes and has campaigned over many years for the abolition of wild animals in entertainment.

Wild animals belong in the wild.

The Statement of Policy of the National Council of SPCAs and the SPCA movement in South Africa is that we are, “totally opposed to exhibitions or presentations of wild animals in circuses and travelling menageries.”


Featured image credit Boycott Brian Boswell’s Animal Circus, Facebook, fair use.

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The NSPCA was founded in 1955 as the Federation of SPCAs to provide a forum to bring uniformity to welfare legislation and standards. The SPCAs in South Africa are governed by the SPCA Act 169 of 1993 which is administered by the NSPCA, constituting us as a statutory body. Inspectors are authorised in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 and the Performing Animals Protection Act No. 24 of 1935 with the SPCA movement collectively undertaking over 90% of all animal welfare investigations and prosecutions in South Africa. The NSPCA operates on a national basis with a team of dedicated Inspectors, who are specialists in their fields. We work tirelessly to protect animals from neglect and abuse and enforce the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 when deliberate cruelty takes place. The lives of tens of thousands of animals are improved because of our passion, our intervention, and our commitment to bring about long-term positive change for farmed animals, wildlife, research animals, domestics and animals used in entertainment and sport. In a country that spans over a million square kilometres, there are areas where there is no SPCA, no animal welfare organisations and no veterinary services. The NSPCA plays a vital role in bringing extraordinary support to these people and their animals. Click to see author's profile.

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