Protesters at Dial Post circus site

ANIMAL rights campaigners turned out in force to protest against a circus in Dial Post which uses tigers and elephants.

But a spokesman for the circus has condemned the 'bullying' tactics of the protesters and said the animals were treated 'impeccably'.

The Great British Circus arrived at the West Sussex Showground yesterday (Tuesday June 9) for its first performance.

Its website boasts: "The only circus in Britain with elephants, tigers, camels, horses."

But around 40 protestors made their feelings clear with banners, placards and chants outside.

Sue Baumgardt, who is a member of Brighton Animal Action, said there were also campaigners from Worthing, Shoreham and Crawley.

"I'm appalled that the Government have back tracked banning wild animals in circuses and allow this circus to continue."

She raised concerns about the big cats in the circus adding: "You can't graze big cats in a field. They are wild predators that are caged up all the time."

The circus will be in Dial Post until Sunday June 21 and has been criticised by the Horsham-based Born Free Foundation.

Chris Barltrop, a spokesman for the circus, said: "The way we conduct ourselves, the way we look after our animals is impeccable.

"I think the tragic thing about the bullying way these people seek to impose their opinions on others is the most alarming aspect of it."

Last week Mr Barltrop said a report from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs concluded there was no scientific reason to ban any species of animal from being with a travelling circus.

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