Animal rights activists protest Awsworth circus show

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Animal rights activists were out in force in Awsworth last week as they sought to call public attention to the practices of a controversial circus.

About 20 people gathered on Saturday, June 10, to peacefully protest against Peter Jolly’s Animal Circus at the Awsworth car boot site.

Holding placards and handing out fliers, they talked to people attending the show about the cruelty inherent in travelling animal circuses.

David Smith from Nottingham Animal Rights said: “The life of a circus animal is a life constantly on the road, dragged from town to town, spending a daunting amount of time in cramped cage wagons or tethered to the ground in a new home every week.

“With the best will in the world, there is simply no way a circus can meet the complex physical, social and psychological needs of wild animals and not surprisingly many circus animals are driven mad by their incarceration.”

The circus—which features animals including camels, zebras and ducks—left the area on Sunday afternoon.

A spokesman for Peter Jolly’s Circus said: “All our animals are well looked after. They are part of our circus family so we take special care to meet all their welfare needs.

“We have inspections from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and independent vets. We’d urge people not to believe the propaganda.”

The RSPCA condemns the use of animals in circuses on the grounds that regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are unavoidable realities.

They say that scientific research shows travelling circus life is likely to have a harmful effect on animal welfare.

Animal circuses are already banned on council-owned land, and a recent government consultation found 94 per cent of respondents want a total ban.