Circus animals were treated well

I WOULD like to reply to Rachael Taylor's letter (Gazette, January 13) re: circus animals and their treatment.

I was an employee with Gandey's Circus for some years during the 90s and I saw at first-hand how animals were treated.

Gandey's only ever used globally domesticated animals, and never any endangered species.

When not in the ring, they were either pegged out or allowed to roam free in fields, much as farm animals are.

The elephants were exercised alongside (and in!) local rivers and beaches during the very early hours of the morning, so as not to attract attention.

If animals did become sick, then first-class veterinary care was always sought.

Indeed, licences are only granted when strict veterinary standards are met, and Gandey's had campaigned strongly for this.

All the animals were viewable, for a few pence, after performances, in a 'zoo' at the back of the big top, including animals that were not in the show, so the public could see for themselves how all the animals were kept.

Many times the 'antis' were invited in to observe free of charge, but never once to my knowledge did the animal rights protestors take up this invitation, preferring to demonstrate at the end of the street, well away from the imagined thing they were protesting against.

To my knowledge Gandey's now only produce all-human shows.

Meantime, the endangered species list is growing daily – shouldn't the antis do something about this?

Future generations may never encounter live animals except in documentaries, and I think that is a shame.

Carl Defoe,

Ellen Court,

Jarrow.