A NATIONAL animal protection charity is calling on the public to boycott one of the country’s few remaining animal circuses, when it performs its Christmas pantomime with live animals in Bradford.
the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) says this will extend the usual season, which ends around November, for at least another month. It says Circus Mondao uses zebras, horses, goats, llamas and camels in its performances, despite the House of Commons passing a unanimous motion to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in June.
A government consultation last year found that 95 per cent of the British public want to see the use of wild animals in circuses banned in this country.
The charity hoped that this would be last circus season that wild animals were forced to suffer under the big top as there is a lot of political and public support for a ban.
CAPS’ Director, Liz Tyson, said: “We had hoped that the Government would listen to the will of the people this year and ban the use of lions, tigers, zebras and other wild animals in the ring but they are dragging their feet and animals are still being forced to perform. To add another month or two to the already gruelling schedule is to add insult to injury and we would call on people to consider the animals this festive season by choosing an animal-free pantomime.
“On a personal note, I think we all remember laughing and enjoying seeing the makeshift costumes for those cast members who played animals in pantomimes.
“The pantomime horse, made up of one person at the front and one at the back is simply part and parcel of the pantomime tradition and to replace these with real animals is not only unnecessary but takes away from the slapstick fun that people know and love.”
Bradford councillor Chris Greaves, (Ind, Wharfedale), said: “The first that strikes me is that I am not a great fan of circuses.
“I don’t like animals in them, it’s totally unnatural - dressing up dogs and so on. It’s quite amazing that these things still draw an audience.
“But I can understand why the Government does not have this issue at the top of its priorities given all the massive debt problems it is dealing with currently.”
No-one from Mondao was available for comment.