A TRAVELLING circus is defending its decision to visit Stanton this week despite a call from animal rights group urging the public to boycott the event.
Circus Mondao has pitched up camp behind The White Horse, in Woodland Road, ready for its first night on Wednesday – however animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI) is hoping for a boycott over travelling conditions.
A spokesman for the circus said all their transportation is checked and animals are visited by welfare officers each time they arrive, while only travelling 20 to 30 miles at a time.
Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI, said: “Animals with travelling circuses are on the road for almost the entire year. That means they have to endure constant transportation and live in rudimentary, temporary accommodation. We urge people to visit circuses with human only acts – those acts have a choice.”
ADI added ‘given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy.’
Mrs Creamer added: “Many people contact ADI and say they went to the circus not realising they would be watching miserable animals. After their experience they say they will not be going again.”
Petra Jackson, a spokesman for Circus Mondao, said: “Our animals are well looked after and better looked after than many kennels or horse riding schools
“They do travel each week but travel no more than 20 to 30 miles. They are in purpose built horseboxes and are unloaded as soon as they arrive and are put next to animals that they live with.
“Dog owners drive their dogs down to the park – is that bad?
“We are government regulated and our transportation is checked to make sure they are purpose built and roadworthy. We are also checked by animal welfare officers every time we arrive and they would close us down if they saw anything wrong.
“It is a very small minority of people that sit in their little office and it is quite easy to send out an email urging people to boycott the circus.”