Zoos across China are still putting on cruel exotic animal performances, three months after they were banned by the government.

Humilating: Tigers are declawed and defanged before they are forced to jump through flaming hoops

In one show in Guangxi Zhuang yesterday, crowds cheered as a tiger teetered on the back of a horse, while monkeys, with chains around their necks, rode bicycles around in circles.

The grim spectacle is slowly being outlawed across the country – 300 state-owned zoos were notified in January they had to close their circuses – but many others claim they were never told about the ban and have no intention of stopping.

The government acted in January after increased pressure from outraged animal rights groups.

A study by Animals Asia in 2010 found bears were often whipped and beaten with sticks, elephants were prodded with metal hooks, while tigers and lions are made to endure chronic pain by being defanged and de-clawed.

“Watch the video below …A pray animal (horse) forced to carry a predator (tiger) on it’s back, is unbelievable & morally wrong!   They have obviously beaten these animals into performing these absurd stunts!  Have you ever seen a horse scared to go in a horse box? Well, it’s probably because inside the trailer it’s dark,  he see’s the horse box akin to a dark cave, were predators await to eat him…We may have evolved & made the horse a companion animal, but it doesn’t mean their instincts regarding predator fear have gone!”

“Watch the horse, before the tiger gets on…His  ears are flat to his head as he nervously trots round, a sign of anger, distress & especially fear, his every instinct, screaming at him to run, yet the fear of more incessant thrashings, makes him obey every command.  You can see his reaction when the guy grabs his head collar…Terror!!  I doubt that horse has ever been touched with kind hands, I dread to think how many beatings it has taken to get pray & predator to interact, with almost military precision.

“I wonder how many horses have been fatally wounded whilst trying to get this asinine performance to this level…. The horse looks well fed,  but he would have to be, considering the weight of the tiger, even so, it still looks a struggle for the poor horse!   As for the tiger,  how much suffering has he endured?  His natural instinct as a predator would be to eat the horse! But again, due to fear, the tiger nervously comply’ s .  All this suffering for the sake of entertainment is totally unacceptable!!

Chained: Monkeys are held on the back of bicycles by chains around their necks

In a published report, the organisation – based in Hong Kong – said: ‘All of the performances observed were based upon fear and intimidation. To force animals to perform unnatural tricks, circus showmen frequently engage in negative reinforcement, whipping and striking the animals repeatedly.

‘Animal performances portray the animal to the public in a humiliating way that does not promote empathy and respect. There is little educational value in seeing animals in conditions that do not resemble their natural habitat.’

The government was also swayed by a three-month investigation by China’s State Forestry Bureau that discovered that more than 50 zoos contained animals that had suffered severely from abus

Speaking in January, David Neale, the Animal Welfare Director at Animals Asia insisted the ban would be strictly enforced.

He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We are hopeful it will have an effect. I visited Chongqing zoo before Christmas and their circus was clearing out, and Kunming zoo has also said its circus has been closed.’

But it was business as usual at Guangxi Zhuang zoo this weekend – and many zoo owners claim they were never notified about the ban.

Besides the complexity of policing the ban across a vast country, campaigners are also concerned zoos will be forced into bankruptcy and abandoned unwanted animals.

David Neale added: “In some cases, I am not sure where the animals will go.

‘In some cases I would recommend euthanasia, since there are animals in a very bad way after a few years of being in these performances’

A tiger is muzzled so a young girl can sit on its back during one of the banned circus performances

Read more:TheDailyMail.co.uk

“Would you let your daughter sit on the back of a lion with his muzzled tied shut with a piece of string, who is probably sedated a little too?? Just one swipe of a paw & that child could be to fatally Injured.”

“People have got to understand, animals have rights too, they are not ours to do as we please with…They have the right from their first breath to food, water, protection from, & treatment of, illness & injury, proper living quarters,  freedom to express normal behaviour, respect, kindness & dignity…till their last breath!

“They should never ever suffer for human entertainment or denied any of the above  so humans can profit from their misery”

“Anything less & it is  we that should be referred to as animals”