ANIMAL rights protesters are set to demonstrate at a travelling animal circus when it opens in Swineshead this week.
Activists from the Captive Animals’ Protection Society will be making a stand outside Circus Mondao, which has been set up off the Bicker Bar roundabout, in a bid to convince people to boycott the traditional show.
Staff at the circus maintain the animals are ‘happy’.
But charity supporters are concerned about the way animals are kept and transported and the fact they are forced to perform in the ring.
Charity director Liz Tyson said: “We strongly believe that a life of constant transportation, confinement and repetitive unnatural performances is no life for any animal and we would encourage families to choose one of the fantastic all-human shows to get their circus fix this year”
Staff at Circus Mondao have rubbished claims of cruelty and mistreatment, saying the animals are ‘an important part of the family’.
Ringmistress Petra Jackson told The Standard that claims about cruelty were ‘drivel’ and said the groups were trying to ‘hoodwink’ the British public.
She added: “The animal rights people try to make out they live in makeshift stables, but they are purpose-built, portable stables. They’ve got ample room.
“Our animals are happy. They trust us. If they didn’t we wouldn’t have zebras roaming free; we would be worried they would run away. We’ve got nothing to hide.”
Circus Mondao is one of the few big tops in the UK which still uses animals in its performances.
Among the 28 animals which perform are zebras, camels, reindeer and llamas.
Last week, the Government announced laws for banning the use of wild animals in the circus. It is planned the law will be in place by the end of this Parliament in 2015.
Circus Mondao will be performing until Sunday. It is not known when the planned demonstration will take place.