AN animal protection charity has called on the public to boycott a controversial animal circus that is appearing in Orsett this week.
According to Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS), the Great British Circus is the only circus to use lions and tigers.
CAPS say that animals should not be used in the circus.
The circus imported three elephants from Germany earlier this year.
Secret footage of a groom mistreating an elephant was filmed at the Great British Circus by another animal campaign group, Animal Defenders International.
The footage taken was recorded by undercover cameras in the elephant’s stable area.
Spokesperson for the circus, Chris Barltrop, said: “We believe if ADI were motivated by real concerns about animal welfare, it would have immediately made the video available to authorities and to circus management, rather the placing it in the public domain months later.
“To date, this material has not been provided directly to the Great British Circus.”
The circus have said they are conducting a "thorough investigation" and are looking at the possibility of installing CCTV.
Craig Redmond, campaigns director for CAPS, said: “It’s now time for the government to take action to end the use of animals in circus.
“The public recognise how inappropriate it is to transport animals all over the country for most of the year, chain or cage them and make them perform for our entertainment and they have long backed our campaign for a ban.”
Mr Redmond explained to the Gazette how he believed that circuses need to move into the future.
He said: “They can be great entertainment without animals, there are great all human shows around. Most people will realise that this is unacceptable.
“Using animals is from a bygone age, most compassionate and right thinking people will think it is wrong.”
The Great British Circus said that they were always getting compliments from people on how the animals look.
Mr Barltrop, said: “ The circus people care about the animals. I can only ask that before people make a judgement that they come and look at both sides of the argument.
The show does go on at the Orsett showground, until Sunday, October 18.
For more information about the circus go online to www.greatbritishcircus.co.uk.
For more information about the Captive Animals’ Protection Society visit www.captiveanimals.org.