Boswell Circus owner responds to protests

Protesters gathered outside the Brian Boswell Circus to fight against animal exploitation last week. The circus owners have spoken to Embizweni to give their side to the story, Shannon Frost reports.

A silent protest took place outside the grounds of the Brian Boswell Circus by local animal activists this week at the Fiddlers Green, Grahamstown. Protesters taped their mouths shut and handed out information pamphlets about animal exploitation. Circus co-owner, Georgina Boswell, has spoken to Embizweni about the presence of these protesters.


Jenny Copley-Forster with mouth gag reading “silence is not consent”. Photo: Shannon Frost.

The protesters planned for the demonstration to be peaceful and dignified. “We will be standing in solidarity with the oppressed, enslaved and voiceless animals that will be used in performances throughout the week” explained protester, Sam Domann.

Although the intention of the protesters was to be non-violent, Farm Animal Centre for Education (FACE) Director, Jenny Copley-Forster, stated that on Wednesday 18th March, the circus staff insulted and threatened her and other protesters.


Screenshot taken from Facebook page “Grahamstown Protest against the exploitation of animals by Brian Boswell Circus”.

Georgina Boswell has responded to Embizweni about the controversy surrounding the protest and is confident that the animals in the Boswell Circus are healthy and well looked after. Boswell explains how, “We were inspected by the SPCA on Tuesday [17 March 2015] and we had an independent vet do an inspection on Tuesday…We also belong to a regulated industry and are a legal business”. Boswell then goes on to explain how the independent vet wished he saw animals in this great condition on a daily basis.

The protesters created a Facebook event page where plans for the protest where discussed and an informal debate about the circus transpired. Boswell joined the conversation on the Facebook event page and attempted to defend and explain the circumstances of the animals in the circus.Check out the conversation here. Boswell stated that, “I was blocked from the group very soon after posting that piece…if I am a direct link to the circus and what goes in the show at the circus, why would they not want to talk to me and discuss the matter?”


Protesters handing out information flyers to local school children who are about to attend the the Brian Boswell Circus. Photo: Shannon Frost.

Boswell emphasises how the Boswell Circus brings much needed entertainment in Grahamstown for local kids. “Rotary Grahamstown has brought over 200 children over the past two days free of charge…wouldn’t it be a shame if a small minority group were to decide that the circus shouldn’t come to town,” explained Boswell.

The Brain Boswell Circus insists the animals are an “integral part of the circus and are treated as part of the family…their well-being is of utmost importance” as stated on their website.


Protesters handing out information flyers to local school children who are about to attend the the Brian Boswell Circus. Photo: Shannon Frost.

The protest is following the Brian Boswell Circus which is currently in East London.


One thought on “Boswell Circus owner responds to protests

  1. Pingback: Boswell Circus: Entertainment or Exploitation? | Embizweni

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