Boswell circus owners back in court on charges of elephant abuse

Two circus owners and an employee from the well known Brian Boswell Circus are expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth magistrate’s court on Wednesday on animal cruelty charges.

Jane Boswell, her daughter Georgina, and elephant handler David Marais are facing a string of charges for allegedly beating, chaining, confining and not providing sufficient water and shade to elephants between December 2012 and January 2013.

Earlier this month, for the second time, all three accused did not appear in court due to prior work commitments in Pretoria.

Magistrate Esti Petzer warned all three were to be present at their next court date.

The three are facing charges which relate to the contravention of the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962.

In 2013, the National Council of SPCA laid criminal charges against the Boswell Circus for the alleged abuse of elephants at Walmer West Primary School in Port Elizabeth.

The school later withdrew permission for the circus to use its grounds.

Video footage which aired on television programme Carte Blanche during 2013 showed elephants chained, exposed to heat for hours and beaten with sticks.

A source close to the case told African News Agency (ANA) that elephant handlers seen on the video footage were apparently fired and had since disappeared.

All three accused are out on warning. – African News Agency

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