PROTESTERS from a Tonbridge animal welfare group are urging the public to boycott a circus that arrived in town this week.

The Great British Circus – one of the last in the country to include wild animals such as tigers, zebra and camels – arrived at Mabledon Farm near Southborough on Tuesday.

Campaigners from Tonbridge-based Animal Aid have been picketing near the big top in London Road, urging the public to boycott the show.

Animal Aid’s head of education, Mark White, said the animal circus was “outdated”.

He told the Courier: “It’s totally demeaning and depressing watching these proud and majestic animals perform parlour tricks.

“How can they justify using animals like tigers? It’s not entertaining, it’s not educational.

“The way they have to confine the animals is totally unsuitable and then they’re being dragged around the country in wagons. It’s outdated, it belongs in the past.”

In March the Government announced a ban on use of wild animals in circuses could be in place before the next general election in 2015.

The 20-strong group of protestors will be demonstrating until the last show on Sunday, which also includes llamas, reindeer, donkeys and Fresian horses.

Mr White said: “We’ll be there every day to try and persuade people not to go in. We’ve had lots of support from people driving past hooting and waving.

“It was youngsters who came in to our offices to say the circus was in town. They started to get the ball rolling, which was great.”

However, on the opening night the show didn’t go ahead.

Mr White said: “People are just not interested in animal circuses anymore. The fact the show didn’t happen illustrated that.”

Circus owner Martin Lacey said: “When I see them protesting year after a year, it makes us more determined to carry on.

“We will not be bullied by these societies. If for a moment I thought I was doing something wrong or cruel I wouldn’t do it. “Ok then, openly show the public how you train your tigers to do the tricks…show us how you get a tiger to do what you want… how do you overpower him, make it known that you are the boss & will not take any naughty behavior…without whips etc!!  Sadly you can’t, because tigers will not perform of their own free will, which means you have to force them or coerce them with whips…whips are cruel, do don’t do it!”

“We’re inspected regularly and follow the regulations. “Yes, but you also know what date & time the investigators are going to be there…plenty time to tidy your act, so to speak!”

“People are not losing interest, we are in the middle of a recession, all entertainment businesses are down.” “Sorry your wrong mate, people are losing interest because they now know all the dirty tricks of the circus. They know all about the beatings it takes, to make animals do something which is totally un-natural for their species… the public have seen, through undercover investigations, animals being cruelly abused! No animal performs for the fun of it…if they did, they would be caught doing it in the wild…but they are not…they are forced into doing pathetic tricks by bullying tactics & beatings!”

PROTESTERS from a Tonbridge animal welfare group are urging the public to boycott a circus that arrived in town this week.

The Great British Circus – one of the last in the country to include wild animals such as tigers, zebra and camels – arrived at Mabledon Farm near Southborough on Tuesday.

News Link:http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Protest-circus-use-wild-animals/story-16377091-detail/story.html

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