Circus in Prescot criticises MPs' wild animal ban plans
A travelling circus that is performing in Merseyside has criticised a vote by MPs to ban the use of wild animals in performances.
The ban is expected to be brought into force in July 2011 and will affect the UK's three remaining travelling circuses that use wild animals.
Performers at Circus Mondao, which is being staged in Prescot until Sunday, claim their animals are well cared for.
They believe that the British public will lose out on an experience.
The circus, which is being held at Whitaker Garden Centre on Liverpool Road has a pair of camels, called Kashmir and Sabia, which are classed as wild animals.
Performer and trainer Petra Jackson said: "These are our pets and they are a part of our family and they're part of us.
"We love them dearly and know all their little characters and traits, and what food they like and we love to share them with the British public.
"I think if there's a ban it's going to be the British public who are losing out in the long run because they're not going to be able to get close to beautiful animals like this.
"We're inspected regularly by local animals welfare officers and the RSPCA do come and look at our animals and they've never found anything wrong with our husbandry or our animals' conditions."
A statement on the RSPCA website said: "We don't believe animals should be subjected to the conditions of circus life.
"Regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are all typical and often unavoidable realities for the animals.
"Scientific research has shown that travelling circus life is likely to have a very harmful effect on animal welfare for many species. This is why we think circuses should not use animals, especially wild species."