Are circus animals treated fairly? You have your say

Circus Mondao, which uses animals including horses, zebra and a camel in performances, at Golborne Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield,
Circus Mondao, which uses animals including horses, zebra and a camel in performances, at Golborne Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield,

Last week we reported on the abuse animal rights campaigners directed at families heading to Circus Mondao at their Norcross site.

READ MORE: Circus’s ringmistress hits back at animal rights group

Ringmistress, Petra Jackson, described the insults as ‘vile’ and was deeply upset by the accusation that the circus doesn’t treat the animals, their ‘pets’, fairly.

The circus has horses, pigeons, a camel, zebra and two reindeers, and is one of just two circuses in the UK using animals for its shows.

READ MORE: Families visiting circus targeted by ‘vile’ abuse from animal rights campaigners, ringmistress claims

While organisations such as the RSPCA and the Animal Defenders International (ADI) have condemned wild animals in circuses due to inevitable substandard living conditions, Petra insists that the animals are free to graze and are always loaded and unloaded first during site-to-site movement.

Here’s your views:

To be fair the animals aren’t forced to entertain, the horses do a little show which is what most horses do, the birds perform and are all free flying not chained or roped, the dogs again do what most well trained dogs do and the camels give rides which again is what they’re for anyway, so where is the cruelty? The zebra doesn’t perform it travels with them because it’s been raised by them and likely wouldn’t survive in the wild anyway so go take your campaign to somewhere that needs it!

- Sarah Haywood

Ok so let’s protest against show jumping, dressage, horse racing, the grand national, crufts, bird shows etc etc. Why just try to stop a circus? Why not go the whole hog and close down all the zoos, release all the animals and then watch the poachers and hunters kill off every species one by one.

Cruelty is beating an animal into submission, training an animal is something totally different.

- Janice Wright

Birds are not domestic animals, I would never keep a bird, they are meant to fly free, not inside a tent, open the top of that tent and those birds would really fly free, it’s your choice if you want to steal from shops to feed yourself, animals like these used in a circus don’t get choices.

- Chelle Cameron

Animals in the circus live in horrible conditions. They are beaten behind the scenes to obey their trainers by fear, they know if they don’t do what is required they will be beaten. It is a punishment technique like humans use with kids also. There are lots of videos on the internet about how animals are hit in the circus. Second they live travelling in small cages, they don’t know freedom, all the time “performing” or “working” against their wishes, animals don’t want to be your clowns, they want to be free in nature and enjoy it with their families. These people use animals to make money, it is slavery, animals are forced to be there. Would you like a life in prison travelling constantly to entertain others at the cost of your freedom? I support circus but without animals, circus like cirque du soleil are wonderful - human acrobatics, colours, amazing costumes and makeup make a wonderful show without forcing any living creature to perform.

- Emilia Soerensen

Good. Even if the animals are “well” treated it’s still cruel and represents something that has and still is generally very nasty

- Carl Jones

And what about all the travelling by race horses and the constant training, or the jousting display horses, people don’t kick off about that. as soon as the word “circus” is used then outdated stereotypes surface. Dog agility competitions, sports horses, dressage competitions, horse racing, pigeon racing, dog shows, and many more where there is constant travel. Yes campaign against animal abuse but where it is not where it is perceived to be.

- Wendy Johnson.

I don’t think condoning violence and threats to young families is the way to go though. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but no one has the right to ram it down anyone’s throat. And certainly not in front of children.

- Emma Lee

My horse is very chilled but if I move his field or take him somewhere new he is anxious. They are instinctively animals that have a ‘territory’ so although feed and good beds are provided. Nothing beats a fixed abode with a set routine.

We’ve never been to the circus for this reason and do not want to fund their situation.

Same goes for sea world etc. We went and found a local rescue instead. Because that’s who needs the money.

- Adele White

Good, it’s about time people stepped up against animals used in circus. This circus should be boycotted, there’s no place for animals used for entertainment purposes. Animals should be allowed to run in the wild and not holed up in circus.

- Chris D Currie

I don’t agree with animals being used for entertainment for the pleasure of humans its so wrong on so many levels. Oh and even if the animals are treated well it still does not make it OK to make a show out of them

- Brogan Symonowicz

The animals are in fantastic condition and are treated so well. Anyone in doubt, go and see for yourself instead of jumping on the “animal rights” bandwagon. I love to see them.

- Julie Williams

As soon as they arrive at a site they unload the animals before anything else, and they don’t keep them locked up they give the animals the whole field to stay in when they’re not performing and they load the animals last when they leave so I don’t see what anyone’s problem is about the animals, they are well looked after.

- Liz Gregorzz

Travelling circuses cannot provide satisfactory accommodation for these animals. There just isn’t enough space. I am sure these owners care for and try to look after these animals to the best of their abilities but the time for animal circuses has ended now. Time to move on. Animals should not be used for the entertainment of humans.

- Sophie Choudhury

If the circus complies with current legislation, and there are no obvious signs of cruelty, then it’s a valid operation. Notwithstanding the fors and againsts, as one person says, if you don’t like it, don’t go. Too much opinionation interfering with legal activity.

- Keith Gleeson

I’m sure they are well cared for and loved but a lone camel and zebra are being denied contact with their own species, which is very cruel.

- Stephanie Peeters