The show will go on, the Natural Resources Department said yesterday of a travelling circus that’s making its way through Nova Scotia.
Department representatives conducted an inspection of Cirque Estival during its Saturday stop in New Glasgow, along with a veterinarian from the Agriculture Department and an investigator with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Julie Towers, the department’s director of wildlife, said the inspection team “identified a few things that they asked the circus to address, which they did right then and there,” such as providing shade and privacy covers for some animals.
“In some cases, it’s documentation that the circus is to gather and provide back to us,” Towers said. “There will also be a follow-up inspection.”
But for now Cirque Estival is allowed to continue its current tour across the province, she said, adding it “would be pretty premature” to shut it down.
The Nova Scotia SPCA initially complained to the province about the circus using a 45-year-old elephant in its show, but is now asking for it to be stopped altogether, claiming Saturday’s inspection revealed 11 further violations of circus standards.
“This circus is demonstrating widespread substandard welfare practices,” SPCA president Sean Kelly said in a news release. “We are publicly demanding an immediate revocation of this circus’s permit.”
He said infractions include lack of stimulation and inadequate shelter for some species, as well as an unsafe distance between some animals and spectators.
Towers said the provincial department agreed with about half of the violations cited by the SPCA, adding some are open for interpretation.