Circus hits back at criticism over use of animals in performances

The owners of a circus which features performances from animals has hit back at protestors who have called on them to boycotted.

Circus hits back at criticism over use of animals in performances

More than 1,700 people signed a petition urging Newport Rugby Club to change their mind in letting the Peter Jolly's Circus perform in their grounds.

But, in a statement, the circus said the controversy has been greatly exaggerated by people, including a number of anti-circus groups.

The statement says: "We are constantly accused of cruelty and neglect to our animals by these animal rights organisations, who thrive on spouting propaganda to the general public by the medium of press, and unfortunately people are misled.

"These people have never actually seen for themselves, they only believe what they are told. We have held our licence to travel with performing wild animals for four consecutive years and during this time we have had three inspections by Defra, two announced and one unannounced.

"We also have to have four inspections per year by independent vets making a total of seven inspections per year.

"These inspections are carried out while on tour and at our winter quarters.

"All our inspection reports are available online at the Defra website for anyone to read."

The statement says that video supposedly showing cruelty to animals at the circus's winter enclosures was illegally obtained.

"The video was gained illegally by trespass and breaking and entering by Animal Defence International and filmed with a lens that distorted the images to make everything look smaller.

"Recent protests by the animal rights groups have taken place and they have also taken down our posters and advertising boards in recent weeks.

"We are allowed to put up advertising boards and posters in the areas we travel as they are Temporary Event Notices and we remove them when we finish the venue."

  • Peter Jolly’s Circus has not used lions in its act for several years. Thomas Chipperfield, who trains lions and whose animals worked with the circus in the past, has no connection with them today, nor with the protests and petition set up by animal rights activists. We are happy to clarify this.

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