Circus defends use of animals following call for boycott of Leeds shows

Circus Mondao, pictured near Wigan last year.
Circus Mondao, pictured near Wigan last year.
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Campaigners are calling on people in Leeds to stage a boycott of an animal circus that is about to pitch up in the city.

Circus Mondao begins a 12-day run of shows on private land at Otley Old Road near Horsforth on Wednesday.

Circus ringmistress Petra Jackson with Kachana the camel.

Circus ringmistress Petra Jackson with Kachana the camel.

It says the llamas, horses and other animals that feature in its shows receive the “highest level of care”.

But the Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaign group today urged families to steer clear of the circus during its stay.

Voicing concern about the industry in general, ADI president Jan Creamer said: “Circuses simply cannot meet the needs of animals in small, mobile accommodation.

“You can help stop the suffering - don’t go to a circus with animals.”

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) group has called for the event’s visit to Leeds to be cancelled.

The group is also planning to stage a protest at the site on the attraction’s opening night.

Peta’s Luke Steele said performing in front of loud crowds caused distress to animals.

He also raised concerns that the “close proximity” of the Otley Old Road site to Leeds Bradford Airport would lead to the animals at Circus Mondao being “subjected to even higher noise levels than usual”.

Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel called on all landowners to “do the right thing” and stop providing room for animal circuses to operate.

He said: “Life on the road is wholly unsuitable for creatures who need space to roam and pastures to graze.”

Mr Sobel added: “The vast majority of people in the UK oppose the use of animals in circuses.”

Circus Mondao ringmistress Petra Jackson told the Yorkshire Evening Post that all of her animals were in “tip-top condition” and had access to hay and water 24 hours a day, large enclosures and outdoor grazing spaces.

She said the shows featured horses, ponies, llamas and dogs but other animals such as a zebra and two camels travelled with the circus, which is licensed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

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