GROUPS of animal rights activists are planning a protest against a circus which has pitched its Big Top in South Tyneside.
Northern Animal Rights (NAR) is set to stage a protest on Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus’s opening night tonight.
Protesters will be at the site in Wheathall Farm, Mill Lane, Whitburn, from 7pm.
It comes after national animal protection charity the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (Caps), called for a public boycott of the circus.
Charity director Liz Tyson, said: “We strongly believe that a life of constant transportation, confinement and repetitive unnatural performances is no life for any animal, and we would encourage families to choose one of the fantastic all-human shows to get their circus fix this year.”
Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus is one of seven UK circuses that have continued to use animals, and features horses, dogs and ponies in performances.
But travelling circuses will soon be banned from using wild animals in their shows, the Government has announced.
Ministers unveiled plans last month to outlaw the practice at the “earliest opportunity”. A tough licensing regime will be brought in to improve conditions for performing animals in the meantime.
Animal welfare minister Lord Taylor said: “There is no place in today’s society for wild animals being used for entertainment in travelling circuses.
“We have said many times we wanted to ban this outdated practice, but before we could do that there were serious legal issues we had to consider.
“We are developing proposals to introduce a bill as soon as parliamentary time allows.
“In the meantime, we are introducing a circus licensing scheme to ensure decent conditions for wild animals in travelling circuses.”