Calls to boycott animal circus

CAMPAIGNERS have called for residents to boycott an animal circus which has pitched up in a quaint Suffolk village.

Russell Claydon

CAMPAIGNERS have called for residents to boycott an animal circus which has pitched up in a quaint Suffolk village.

The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) is asking the public to turn their backs on one of the country's last remaining animal circuses, when it performs in Long Melford from Wednesday.

Circus Mondao features camels, lamas, zebras, horses, goats and mules which arrived in the grounds of Kentwell Hall on Sunday.

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Paul Thomas, campaigns officer for the national animal rights charity CAPS, said: “People can enjoy circuses without animals being forced to perform.

“Most circuses now feature an all-human cast, removing the need to keep animals confined for long periods, transport them around the country and use hidden training methods to make them perform in the ring.

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“We would encourage people to avoid all animal circuses and wait until one of the many amazing all-human shows arrives in town.”

The circus is back in Long Melford after last performing there in 2006, the year it began touring.

Petra Jackson, the ring mistress for Circus Mondao, said they are regularly inspected by Government vets and RSPCA officials and keep their animals very humanely.

“People need to come and look at our animals before they make a judgement,” she said. “These organisations have a lot of money behind them to make up these campaigns but they fail to tell people the Government has just done a two year scientific study on animals in circuses and the findings were that they are no worse off than your pet at home or race horses.”

She said Circus Mondao is a member of the European Circus Association, which sets down regulations as to how animals should be looked after, which they abide by.

“Everything they (the animals) do is enhanced natural behaviour,” she added. “We just put it to a command so they do it when we ask them to.

“Our animals are very close to our hearts.”

Two camels and lamas which were allowed onto the village green to graze in the glorious sunshine were attracting plenty of attention from passing traffic yesterday.

The animals are set to do two performances everyday from Wednesday through until Saturday, with a finale performance on Sunday.

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