Horsham people urged not to visit Great British Circus

Wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation is urging people not to visit a circus in West Sussex.

The Great British Circus, which has set up at Dial Post, near Horsham, features lions, tigers, camels and zebras.

CEO of the charity Will Travers said: "A trip to such a circus may be a brief moment of fantasy for us but represents just one more day in a lifetime of confinement for the animals involved."

The circus says its animals are well cared for and not treated cruelly.

Circus spokesman Chris Barltrop told the BBC: "Why should there be cruelty involved? You must know from dealing with domestic animals that you need to build up a relationship with your animal and the same applies, even though these are large, exotic, and sometimes fierce animals, you build up a relationship with it.

"If you were cruel to the animals - if you were rough with them, if you were abusive with them - it would actually be counterproductive purely in the sense of getting the animal to do something as part of its act.

"I think one of the alarming things about the argument against the use of animals in circuses is that groups of people seek to impose their views on others."

Mr Travers said: "We urge the local people to think very carefully before spending their leisure time and hard-earned money at a circus that uses wild animals."

In May, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman announced there would be no ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, but promised to enforce "high welfare standards".

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