Breaking! Demonstrators Confined In Make-Shift Cage For 11 Days Protesting Animal Cruelty At East London Zoo In South Africa

Photos from Ban Animal Trading

A compassionate group of animal advocates are currently confined in a temporary cage where they will remain for 11 days in a heroic effort to raise awareness about the cruelty that animals endure at the East London Zoo in South Africa.

As part of his campaign to close East London Zoo, Khoisan activist and African National Congress Member of Parliament, Christian Martin, is among the demonstrators that entered the cage at Beacon Bay Retail Park on Monday morning.

The group is also reportedly adopting a plant-based diet sponsored by vegan communities, during the thought-provoking exhibition.

“Animals were never meant to be in captivity,” Martin was quoted in a post on the Ban Animal Trading Facebook page this morning. “If it was never meant for Nelson Mandela to be in captivity on Robben Island as a human being, we are saying then it was never meant for these animals to be in cages. Same difference, as far as we are concerned.”

Ban Animal Trading (BAT) also took to social media earlier this week to express Its support of the campaign, explaining that the group will be released from the cage on March 21st, Human Rights Day, coinciding with a “large, legal and peaceful protest.”

“Sentience, the ability to feel emotion and endure suffering, is the bond that unites all animal species; human and non-human,” the nonprofit organization noted in a post on its Facebook page, calling on members of the local community to join the protest standing for compassion towards all sentient beings. “This Human Rights Day will see the inclusion of Animals Rights in East London.”

The post continued with a comprehensive list of valid reasons why “wild animals kept captive in unnatural and unsuitable enclosures is a violation of their right to live their own lives free from abuse and free of human exploitation.”

“The zoo is NOT conservation,” noted the post, further explaining that zoos make sure that they profit by setting up extensive breeding programs to ‘supply’ baby animals to display to the public. “Once the baby animals grow up, they are killed or sold off as ‘surplus’ animals to hunters, other zoos or to laboratories, where they are used in medical experiments and cosmetic testing.”

BAT continues to argue that the zoo is also NOT education.

“Keeping animals’ captive in the zoo, teaches children that animals are commodities, have no value other than to entertain humans and that humans have the power to dominate the animal kingdom,” according to the organization. “Children will learn very little about the natural behavior of animals.”

Tragically, captivity deprives animals of everything that is natural to them; a stressful situation that causes them to often suffer from depression and Zoochosis, where animals sway back and forth and pace up and down in their enclosures. Other stress behaviors include head bobbing, rocking or sitting motionless in a corner.

Ban Animal Trading shared that its goal is to have “all the cages emptied, with the animals relocated to suitable and reputable sanctuaries where they can live out their lives in spaces as close to their natural environments as possible, with only the minimum necessary level of human contact.”

The Ban Animal Trade protest on March 21st will take place at the Beacon Bay Retail Park and will be followed by a vehicle procession to The East London Zoo. Information about the events are available HERE!

Empty The Cages!  #CloseELZoo

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