The ringmistress at a circus in town until early next month said the welfare of animals there is a top priority.
The Animal Defenders International (ADI) claimed Circus Mondao’s use of animals is an ‘outdated practice which is overwhelmingly opposed by the public and animal experts’.
But Petra Jackson accused the animal rights group of ‘trying to incite anger and rage’, and said police visited the circus’s temporary home in Norcross ahead of a planned protest yesterday.
She added: “We are very passionate about our animals.”
The circus, in town until September 3, has horses, pigeons, a camel, zebra, and two reindeer.
In a statement also released last year, ADI president Jan Creamer said: “Circuses simply cannot meet the needs of animals in small, mobile accommodation.”
It said the ‘constant travel’ and ‘temporary’ nature of circuses mean animals cannot be kept ‘physically or psychologically healthy’, and claimed ‘welfare is always compromised’ as a result.
On its website, Circus Mondao said: “When we move from town to town, our main concern is for our animals and the conditions in which they travel. They are the last to be loaded and the first to be unloaded at the next site. Their stables take priority and are erected immediately upon arrival, which takes around one hour. They are given water, hay nets, and new beds.”
Ms Jackson added: “This is our 11th year coming to the area and it’s wonderful being back yet again.”