An animal rights group is urging people in Derbyshire to avoid a circus which features wild animals.
Animal Defenders International (ADI) is calling on locals to shun Peter Jolly’s Circus, which will arrive in Hillstown, near Bolsover, on Thursday, September 14.
The circus is one of only two which still feature wild animal acts, a practice which the group say is ‘outdated’ as well as being ‘overwhelmingly’ opposed by the public and animal experts.
Jan Creamer, president of ADI, said: “Animal Defenders International has repeatedly documented the suffering and abuse of animals in circuses.
“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.”
After a four-day stint in Hillstown, the circus will move on to North Wingfield on Thursday, September 21.
A spokesperson for Peter Jolly’s Circus said: “Peter Jolly’s Circus is one of two circuses currently licenced by The Secretary of State to use wild animals in its performances under the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012.
“Our circus has held a license for five consecutive years and has three inspections per year by Defra Inspectors, two announced and one
unannounced, also four inspections a year by our lead vet. All the inspection reports can be found on the Defra website.
“By tradition the circus moves from venue to venue entertaining the local population. The circus season lasts approximately eight months
of the year and moves from venue to venue once a week, of a distance of no more than 25 miles. This ensures that the animals are not
constantly travelled and the circus can provide adequate facilities to keep them physically and psychologically healthy. Welfare of all our
animals is of the utmost importance as they are all part of our family.
“We feel the residents of Hillstown should come and visit our circus and form their own opinion.”