ANIMAL rights campaigners today reacted with anger to a Government U-turn to protect circus animals.
Plans to stop wild animals from featuring in circuses had been stepped up after Anne the elephant of Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus - an annual feature in Fleetwood - was mistreated.
However, the Government says it cannot act on the problems in this country because of a case in Austria, where a circus is suing authorities, despite 71 per cent of the public supporting a ban.
Mandy Leigh, from Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary, in St Annes, said: “The one thing I can say is I’m totally and utterly disgusted.
“The RSPCA can’t cope with protection, so what we need is laws and regulations in this country.
“Snakes and crocodiles should be in the wild and not in circuses.”
The ill-treatment of Anne the elephant, who was secretly filmed being beaten by a handler, sparked national outrage.
Animal campaigns group The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) lead the chorus of complaints to place Anne in a safer environment.
Liz Tyson, director of CAPS, said: “The government has chosen to ignore the public will, the expert advice, the evidence of animal suffering and the request of its own members by failing to implement the ban. It’s disgraceful.”
Anne has now been rehomed at Longleat Safari Park