Thursday, April 25, 2024

For sheep’s sake


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BACCHANAL calypso tent and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) are heading for an unprecedented Crop Over clash. And it’s over a sheep.
The RSPCA says that while it’s okay for calypsonian Stiffy to sing about taking his sheep to town, he must not carry the animal on stage.
But MADD Bacchanal Time calypso tent in which entertainer Shane Stiffy Atkinson sings, is ignoring threats of legal action from RSPCA’s Chief Inspector Wayne Norville.
“Stiffy and his sheep are going nowhere,” tent manager Eric Lewis told the DAILY?NATION last night in response to Norville’s threat to invoke the law if they continued using a sheep as a prop during the rendition of the popular calypso I Carr My Sheep To Town.
“They broke the law,”  Norville told the Daily Nation yesterday while referring to last Sunday night’s show at the Alexandra School where the sheep was carried on stage.
Norville said that even though he had told MADD Entertainment officials  that it was against the law to have the sheep on stage they still went ahead. Norville said that he heard it advertised that  Stiffy was to be “married” to the sheep in a mock ceremony at an upcoming event.
The chief inspector stated that according to the law one must not cause undue pain and suffering to an animal.“A sheep on a stage under bright lights in front of a crowd, everybody shouting and carrying on, that is not its natural environment. To come from a quiet and serene environment to that must be stressful to the sheep.
“Whether or not humans want to believe that, it is so.”Lewis said: “Until I see a written law, I cannot comment on anything, because I have never seen or heard of such a law. There are a lot of obsolete laws out there that do not make sense. The sheep is going nowhere.”
Lewis said that Stiffy and his sheep would be married at the Gymnasium on July 28 at Bacchanal Time Vs The Best Of Crop Over, as well as the tent’s judging on Saturday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
“People use animals as spectacles every day. But because it is MADD they have a problem. It will be hell oh hell in Barbados if anyone comes after me for taking it on the stage,” Lewis added.
“People use animals as spectacles every day. Magicians use rabbits and hold them by their ears. People use dogs at dog shows, jockeys ride horses so people can bet on them and when the circus comes here we see tigers jumping through rings of fire.“So tell me what law they are talking about,” he said.
Lewis said that the sheep was being given professional care.
“The sheep could have been killed and be on someone’s plate, but it prefers to be on a stage being adored by hundreds of fans. She is handled properly; she is groomed, trained, fed and housed in proper facilities. She is given the best of care,” Lewis said. (LK/DB)


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