Animal rights group criticises South Yorkshire circus

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Animal rights campaigners are urging people in South Yorkshire to boycott a circus over its use of camels, zebras, reindeers and horses.

Animal Defenders International wants people to shun Circus Mondao, which is performing in Thurnscoe, near Barnsley, until Sunday.

But the circus says all of its animals are treated with care, as proved by recent Government inspections.

Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International, said: “A national ban has been promised but, until it is brought in, these animals are forced to perform silly tricks and endure conditions which deny them their natural behaviours.

“We urge local people not to support circus suffering and avoid Circus Mondao.”

But ringmistress Petra Jackson said: “We are registered with the Government and treat our animals very well.”

The travelling circus held its first shows at the Highgate Stadium, Nicholas Lane, today.

A statement on the circus website said: “When we move from town to town, our main concern is for the animals and the conditions in which they travel. They are the last to be loaded and the first to be unloaded at the next site.”

A Defra inspection of the circus found ‘no issues of welfare concern’.

A new bill to ban wild animal acts will have its second reading in Parliament this month.