DEFIANT circus bosses have vowed the show will go on, despite campaigners urging visitors to boycott its visits to south Lincolnshire.
Circus Mondao, which has been camped at Bicker Bar Roundabout and at Baytree Nurseries Garden Centre in Weston in recent weeks, has been targeted by the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS).
The group would like the use of wild animals in circuses to be banned.
CAPS director Liz Tyson said: “We sincerely hope that the use of wild animals in circuses will soon be a thing of the past in this country and that this could well be the last season that the circuses are legally able to use animals such as lions, tigers and zebras in the ring.
“In the meantime, we encourage people to avoid any circus that continues to use animals in their performances and, instead, visit one of the fantastic shows with an all-human cast.”
However, ringmistress Petra Jackson says their performance is no different to an audience watching animals do tricks on shows such as Britain’s Got Talent.
“They are all trained animals,” she said. “Trained animals include police horses, guide dogs and hearing dogs.
“They are all doing something for humans. Just because ours are in the ring, it’s no different to horses at a football match or a dog helping someone go shopping.”
Circus Mondao has been on the road for the last six years. Its acts include dog agility, ponies, camels and zebras.
Ms Jackson says the staff are trained to look after the animals.
She added: “We are inspected by local animal welfare officers and government vets who have never found anything wrong with our animals.
“The RSPCA also come in to inspect our animals. As we have nothing to hide we are happy for them to come to have a look. They sign in and then sign out, saying the animals are in excellent condition.”