SUSPECTED animal rights activists broke into a travelling circus on the edge of Sheffield and vandalised vehicles.
Circus Mondao’s big top is on fields at the side of Bowshaw Roundabout, between Jordanthorpe and Dronfield. It is performing nightly until Sunday.
Saboteurs broke in and poured a corrosive substance on two lorry trailers. Cables and brake pipes were cut and tyres slashed.
Petra Jackson, one of the circus organisers, said the cost of repairs could run into thousands of pounds.
“The trailers were covered in giant wrap-around advertisements for the circus, which each cost £1,500. Two of them were damaged by what looks like people throwing acid over them. One trailer had tyres slashed, electric cables and brakes cut.
“The trailers will have to be completely resprayed.
“The culprits had stuck leaflets on one of the trailers saying ‘cruel circus’ and the leaflets had the name of an animal rights organisation.
“It is like they have left a calling card to rub our noses in it. Animal rights protesters seem to be above the law when it comes to this sort of thing.”
Petra said the circus, which visits Sheffield once a year, has performing zebras, camels, horses, ponies, dogs and llamas. It was inspected four weeks ago in Lancashire and found to be keeping the animals well.
The animals have been grazing in fields at Bowshaw.
“We look after our animals and are open for officials to come and inspect the conditions they are kept in whenever they like,” said Petra.
The shows are going on despite the vandalism. Organisers say tickets here had been selling very well.
Petra said: “The criminal damage has been reported to the police, who are taking this very seriously as animal rights people have recently done a similar thing to another circus down south causing considerable damage.
“The public need to know that when they donate money to some so-called animal organisations, their money does not go towards helping animals but towards waging a hate campaign against us.”
Nobody from the animal rights organisation named on leaflets left at the site was available for comment.
n Police are investigating the incident overnight between Sunday and Monday. Anyone with information should call police on 0345 123 3333.