The RSPCA is urging members of the public to vote with their feet and give a circus that is coming to Langley Mill a miss.

Peter Jolly’s Circus will be in the town, in land off the A610, from 26th August to 31st August. The circus uses wild animals.

The RSPCA has long been pushing for a complete ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Due to their dependency on regular travel, circuses cannot provide the sizeable and complex living conditions that are required for animals traditionally used in this way such as lions, zebras and tigers.

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “The impact of circuses on animal welfare is serious and potentially debilitating for each and every animal involved. Animals are forced to endure the constant travel, cramped temporary cages, and noisy conditions of a circus.

“It is not a quaint tradition that harks back to Victorian times. It is an archaic and heartless practice which must be stopped completely.

“This circus may be one of two that are licensed to use wild animals – but that is still too many.

“The British public have a better understanding of animal welfare than the UK Government are giving them credit for. Ninety-four per cent of people who responded to a Defra consultation on this subject wanted a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

“The recognition of animals as sentient beings is now widely accepted across the world and legislation is slowly catching up – except for here in the UK and it is unacceptable.

“The circus is not the greatest show on earth, it is the saddest show on earth for the animals and it is a practice that needs to be abolished.”