Circus Mondao, who have returned to Hereford for 11 shows over six days, are one of only two circuses in the country to controversially still use animals in their acts, including reindeer, camels and zebras.
But many local people aren’t happy and have pledged to boycott the circus in response.
Last month Circus Mondao were featured in a Sunday Express article that highlighted the cruelty faced by circus animals.
“As well as the camels, two reindeer and two zebras as well as horses, a donkey and a dog, are performing at Circus Mondao, one of only two circuses in Britain to hold a licence.
“Jan Creamer, chief executive officer of ADI, said: ‘The public is in support of a ban, parliament is overwhelmingly in favour of a ban, yet the government refuses to take the simple and more economic option to prevent further suffering.
“‘As our photographic evidence shows, there are still camels and other animals being locked in trailers and taken on the road and then left in cramped pens. Camels are large animals who need space to move around, to graze.’
“Yesterday the pair were kept largely inside a 16ft by 16ft pen during Circus Mondao’s show in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Only one of them was involved in a small parade at the start.
“Neither of the reindeer, which share a tent with the camels, was involved though a zebra was brought in to give rides to children during the interval and at one point a dog rode on the back of a donkey.”
Circus organisers claim their animals are well looked after and, according to Circus Mondao’s website, that is their “main concern”.
“They are the last to be loaded and the first to be unloaded at the next site … They are given water, hay nets and new beds to roll around in.”
Indeed, an inspection by Defra last February concluded that Circus Mondao’s standards were, on the whole, high.
The issue for animal rights campaigners however is not one of welfare but one of captivity. These animals face a life on the road and are given little space to move around in.
We visited the circus site at the racecourse today to find an electric-fenced area of several ‘paddocks’ that in total were not much bigger than a short-course swimming pool. When the animals are not kept locked in stables or cages this is their only space to roam.
The use of animals in circuses is outdated and must be stopped.
We call on our readers to boycott Circus Mondao’s Hereford performances.
PROTEST: Wednesday 2nd April, Hereford Racecourse from 6.30pm.