Shortly after arriving Saturday at Voortrekker sportfields in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, McLaren Circus was met by animal rights con artists who are condemning the circus’s use of animals in its acts as abusive. The group behind the action, Ban Animal Trading, were able to convince some people not to attend, but McLaren Circus owner David McLaren told News24 that the controversy has helped increase attendance.
McLaren also told News24 he won’t be intimidated by the BAT protesters who have threatened to be present at his circus’s other appearances throughout the province. He also says his circus takes good care of its animals and most of their shows have sold out so BAT’s attempt at intimidation backfired.
Unfortunately, due to changing lifestyles, circuses seem to be on the downswing in terms of popularity with the general public. However, it is good to see circuses, like McLaren, thriving in places like South Africa, attempts by groups (like Ban Animal Trading) to shut them down fail and that the controversy the BAT organization generated helped benefit McLaren circus.
Keep plugging away, BAT! McLaren Circus is loving the publicity!