ANIMAL rights activists have failed to impose a ban on the use of live sheep in an annual parade.
Despite bombarding organisers with phone calls and threatening emails, the Canada Day parade in the city of Windsor went ahead on July 1 – with sheep!
Dave Szusz owns a float attraction run by a local Christian community.
He uses sheep to stage live nativity scenes for kids. He also annually participates in Canada Day Parade.
Szusz says he has never heard a complaint about his float until a local animal rights activists and radio personality posted his concerns about it on Facebook, urging people to voice their outrage.
He said: “ Animal rights activists were trying to accuse me of being a religious fanatic. They said, ‘Well, it’s because of religion that you’re doing this.”
“But I see nothing wrong in letting people pet the wooly animals. The parades for the most part are for the kids. So I thought, kids just love to see sheep. It’s amazing how many times the kids say, ‘That’s a real sheep! I’ve never seen a real sheep.’”
“With that in mind I intend to use live sheep in all 23 events I scheduled for this year.”
Szusz also says he babysits the sheep that he borrows from Ewe Dell Family Farms to ensure animals have plenty of time to get used to him.
After realising that Szusz had a strong moral ground behind his actions, animal rights activists attempted to do a U-turn on their tactics.
Dan MacDonald, an animal rights activist said that he feels bad that anybody criticised Szusz for his religious beliefs.
Having been the one to put through a complaint about Szusz’s float, Macdonald no more believes that Szusz actively mistreats the animals — other than needlessly subjecting them to a float ride on a hot day.
MacDonald said: “ I spoke to him on the phone. He’s a really nice guy. He has good intentions.”
He added: “I’ve always been a big advocate for animal rights, I just don’t like seeing animals being used for entertainment, especially in any kind of display. I think livestock are better off on a farm than in a city.”