A TRAVELLING circus visiting the area for the first time has hit out at claims made by an animal rights group that their animals are not looked after properly.
Circus Mondao, which includes a clown, acrobats, showgirls and performing animals, arrived in Upton Warren on Wednesday (March 28) and will be running shows until Sunday (April 2).
Urging residents to avoid the ‘traditional family circus’, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has condemned Circus Mondao for featuring animals, claiming it is an ‘outdated’ practice which has been opposed by the public and barred by some local authorities.
The group has also alleged the circus has been criticised by Government inspectors for poor animal care including lack of veterinary attention, substandard animal facilities and poor protection of the public.
Jan Creamer, president of ADI, said: “Animal Defenders International has repeatedly documented the suffering and abuse of wild animals in circuses.
“Circuses simply cannot meet the needs of wild animals in small, mobile accommodation.
“The Government has promised a ban, but we’re asking people to vote with their feet – don’t go to a circus with animals.”
In response to this, Circus Mondao, which has dressage horses, llamas, pigeons and Shetland ponies, has hit back at the ‘lies’, stating the circus is fully licensed and regulated by Defra.
Ringmistress, Petra Jackson, said: “We are always being victimised by different organisations and we constantly have to defend ourselves.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with what we are doing.
“Our animals are not in cramped cages, they have huge paddocks to roam in, their purpose-built stabling has plenty of room and the horses travel by horse box, it is all up to regulation standard.”
Petra said the circus has had a ‘wonderful response’ from the public who enjoyed meeting the animals after the show.
“We love our animals, they have always been a part of the family and are with us for life,
“We say, if you cannot dedicate your time to an animal, don’t get one.”