Animal circus in Chepstow under attack

South Wales Argus: AT THE RACES: Circus Mondao has come to Chepstow Racecourse AT THE RACES: Circus Mondao has come to Chepstow Racecourse

A CIRCUS in Chepstow is under fire for having performing animals, with people and a charity slamming the practice.

Circus Mondao is one of just two travelling circuses in Britain still using wild animals in its shows.

After setting up yesterday (April 7), the Big Top will be pitched at Chepstow Race Course running two shows a day except Sunday.

But as the circus counts animals including zebras, camels, reindeer, llamas and horses among its roster of acts, it is under fire from animal charities that want to see wild animals in circuses, including zebras and camels, banned.

Emma Kyne, 48, from Lower Chepstow, who was recognised for her work with animals with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said: “I don’t believe there should be any animals at all in circuses. It’s all equally cruel, from temporary living conditions to transporting them, to making them do things which are not part of their natural behaviour. I would urge people not to go to this circus.”

Rhys Williams, 18, from Bulwark, said: “One reason a lot of people don’t like circuses is it causes animals to exhibit quite a lot of stereotypical behaviours because of the way they’re kept. I suppose I would support a ban on wild animals - wild animals should be in the wild, essentially.”

The circus strenuously defended its use of animals in the show.

Ringmaster Petra Jackson said: “We are registered with the government and fully licensed to have animals. We have two unannounced inspections a year – more than zoos. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with our animals and I can assure you they are very happy. They have lived in circuses most of their lives. Our zebra Zebedee is 28 – in the wild he would have been dead by now. Our horses do dressage, like they do in the Olympics.

“People want to see a traditional circus. We love our animals and we love to share them with the public. We feel so proud the public can come and see them.”

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “The RSPCA have long argued that the complex needs of wild animals cannot be met in a travelling circus environment. No wild animal should have to endure the constant travel, cramped temporary cages, and noisy conditions of a circus.”

The UK Government promised to implement a ban on wild animals in circuses by December 2015 but “almost six months later, time is running out for the Westminster Government to deliver the ban”, she added.

Dr Ros Clubb, senior scientific officer with the RSPCA wildlife department, said: “Enclosures tend to be small, a quarter of the size of enclosures you would see in zoos for the same animals. We do have concerns about the methods used for training. There’s some evidence of punishment and harsh methods being used but it very much happens behind closed doors."

She said transport was known to be a stressful experience for animals and that they should be able to live in a stable environment ”without being loaded into a lorry every few days and transported to a completely new site. One day it might be a car park, the next it might be a field.”

Ceri Thomas, 22, from Magor, echoed the anxiety about animals in the ring. She said: “It’s a concern because it’s not their natural life. I’d much prefer animals to live in their natural environment and I’m sure a circus wouldn’t provide that. I certainly won’t be going.”

A spokesman for Monmouthshire County Council said: “The circus is inspected by a vet when it applies for a licence and during its tour of the country. The council would not generally inspect unless we receive complaints.”

Visit www.circusmondao.co.uk.

Comments (15)

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3:00pm Wed 9 Apr 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

I took my little one to see this circus either last year or the year before when they came to Newport. I was a bit wary of them having animals too, so I did some online research before I went - which I found reassuring. The animals seemed quite happy during the performance, it isn't like they're forced to do tricks or anything. The conditions they were kept in appeared to be clean and roomy, and my kid loved seeing them after the show.

Basically they're treated a million times better than some farmers keep their animals in.

As for it not being their 'natural habitat' - there aren't many domesticated animals that are in their natural habitat... unless some folk are suggesting, for example, that goldfish evolved in auariums?
I took my little one to see this circus either last year or the year before when they came to Newport. I was a bit wary of them having animals too, so I did some online research before I went - which I found reassuring. The animals seemed quite happy during the performance, it isn't like they're forced to do tricks or anything. The conditions they were kept in appeared to be clean and roomy, and my kid loved seeing them after the show. Basically they're treated a million times better than some farmers keep their animals in. As for it not being their 'natural habitat' - there aren't many domesticated animals that are in their natural habitat... unless some folk are suggesting, for example, that goldfish evolved in auariums? GardenVarietyMushroom
  • Score: 27

4:37pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Chepstow1 says...

Please read the information on Captive Animals Protection Society's website giving informed facts about this issues in particular the lack of proper inspections http://www.captivean
imals.org/news/2013/
05/breaking-news-cir
cus-inspection-repor
ts-reveal-a-system-d
oomed-to-fail-the-an
imals-says-caps
Please read the information on Captive Animals Protection Society's website giving informed facts about this issues in particular the lack of proper inspections http://www.captivean imals.org/news/2013/ 05/breaking-news-cir cus-inspection-repor ts-reveal-a-system-d oomed-to-fail-the-an imals-says-caps Chepstow1
  • Score: -17

5:13pm Wed 9 Apr 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Chepstow1 wrote:
Please read the information on Captive Animals Protection Society's website giving informed facts about this issues in particular the lack of proper inspections http://www.captivean

imals.org/news/2013/

05/breaking-news-cir

cus-inspection-repor

ts-reveal-a-system-d

oomed-to-fail-the-an

imals-says-caps
The report seems concerned that the inspectors didn't vet the training of the animals. From what I remember though, the animals didn't do much in the way of tricks that required much, if any training. Certainly nothing more egregious than you might find being carried out at your local horse riding stables. There was a little dog though riding on the back of one animal, as it circled the ring - which I'm sure required training much less harmful than feats I've seen countless times at shows like Crufts.

Let me be clear here - I'm a vegetarian. And part of the reason why I'm a vegetarian is because of the way some animals get treated in the food industry. If I believed there was a case for ACTUAL animal cruelty with Mondeo's, instead of just an aversion to animals in circuses because of historical cruelty carried out by others - then I'd be singing a different tune.

But I don't believe that's true in this case.

It's a great show for the kids. Mine loved the animal ride and getting up close with them after the show. And she still talks about the clown and the ghosts.
[quote][p][bold]Chepstow1[/bold] wrote: Please read the information on Captive Animals Protection Society's website giving informed facts about this issues in particular the lack of proper inspections http://www.captivean imals.org/news/2013/ 05/breaking-news-cir cus-inspection-repor ts-reveal-a-system-d oomed-to-fail-the-an imals-says-caps[/p][/quote]The report seems concerned that the inspectors didn't vet the training of the animals. From what I remember though, the animals didn't do much in the way of tricks that required much, if any training. Certainly nothing more egregious than you might find being carried out at your local horse riding stables. There was a little dog though riding on the back of one animal, as it circled the ring - which I'm sure required training much less harmful than feats I've seen countless times at shows like Crufts. Let me be clear here - I'm a vegetarian. And part of the reason why I'm a vegetarian is because of the way some animals get treated in the food industry. If I believed there was a case for ACTUAL animal cruelty with Mondeo's, instead of just an aversion to animals in circuses because of historical cruelty carried out by others - then I'd be singing a different tune. But I don't believe that's true in this case. It's a great show for the kids. Mine loved the animal ride and getting up close with them after the show. And she still talks about the clown and the ghosts. GardenVarietyMushroom
  • Score: 22

9:48pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Monmouthshire Merlin says...

There is a permanent circus you can visit in Cardiff Bay.
It's called the Welsh Assembly. In addition to some wild animals there is an abundance of clowns of all political persuasion!
Campaign to close it and protect your children from danger.
There is a permanent circus you can visit in Cardiff Bay. It's called the Welsh Assembly. In addition to some wild animals there is an abundance of clowns of all political persuasion! Campaign to close it and protect your children from danger. Monmouthshire Merlin
  • Score: 16

2:13pm Thu 10 Apr 14

JAYNEDIG says...

I love Circus Mondeo. The animals are clearly well looked after and loved. Times have changed and animal welfare has come a long way. This circus looks after the animals well. Research is a two way thing.

Well done Circus Mondeo - I cannot wait for you to come up our end again :-) Fabulous team of animals and entertainers. Thank you.
I love Circus Mondeo. The animals are clearly well looked after and loved. Times have changed and animal welfare has come a long way. This circus looks after the animals well. Research is a two way thing. Well done Circus Mondeo - I cannot wait for you to come up our end again :-) Fabulous team of animals and entertainers. Thank you. JAYNEDIG
  • Score: 16

2:18pm Thu 10 Apr 14

clare_uk80 says...

We saw the circus last year in Manchester. The animals clearly loved being part of the show. They are obviously well looked after and loved animals. They are all in fantastic condition. The circus have the licence for a reason as they DO treat all the animals correctly. Have the people complaining even seen these animals and watched a show before making such harsh and ridiculous comments?
We saw the circus last year in Manchester. The animals clearly loved being part of the show. They are obviously well looked after and loved animals. They are all in fantastic condition. The circus have the licence for a reason as they DO treat all the animals correctly. Have the people complaining even seen these animals and watched a show before making such harsh and ridiculous comments? clare_uk80
  • Score: 17

2:22pm Thu 10 Apr 14

SueDudley says...

Anyone accusing Circus Mondao of animal cruelty has obviously never visited them or seen a performance. Their animals are doted on and looked after far better than many pets, farm or zoo animals, and anyone interested is invited to visit the animals out of hours, as I did a couple of years ago.

Please, don't just follow the crowd and assume all circus animals are badly treated. See the show, meet the animals and talk to the staff who look after them, then make your own judgement. One look at the camels with their full humps and beautiful coats compared to zoo camels with ragged coats and floppy humps will tell you a great deal!
Anyone accusing Circus Mondao of animal cruelty has obviously never visited them or seen a performance. Their animals are doted on and looked after far better than many pets, farm or zoo animals, and anyone interested is invited to visit the animals out of hours, as I did a couple of years ago. Please, don't just follow the crowd and assume all circus animals are badly treated. See the show, meet the animals and talk to the staff who look after them, then make your own judgement. One look at the camels with their full humps and beautiful coats compared to zoo camels with ragged coats and floppy humps will tell you a great deal! SueDudley
  • Score: 16

7:06pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Limestonecowboy says...

Anyone has the right to question welfare of animals its what you don't see makes the difference taking part in the circus animals always made to look the best.
Anyone has the right to question welfare of animals its what you don't see makes the difference taking part in the circus animals always made to look the best. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: -1

8:15pm Thu 10 Apr 14

mcbt86 says...

I have visited Circus Mondao and it is an amazing show. There are a lot of concerns with animals in circuses but just because animals in the past have been treated poorly doesn't mean every circus does it and this is defiantly not the case here. These animals are very well looked after and not forced to do anything they don't want to. They have shelter and you can go and see them after the show too. If these animals were being poorly treated they wouldn't let you go behind the scenes to see them, they have nothing to hide from anyone. The circus has inspections and they wouldn't have been issued their licence if there were any major concerns. I am an animal lover and all I can further say is don't tar everyone with the same brush, not everyone is the same, go along and see for yourselves and you will see that the animals are cared for. Great show from Circus Mondao and i would definitely visit again.
I have visited Circus Mondao and it is an amazing show. There are a lot of concerns with animals in circuses but just because animals in the past have been treated poorly doesn't mean every circus does it and this is defiantly not the case here. These animals are very well looked after and not forced to do anything they don't want to. They have shelter and you can go and see them after the show too. If these animals were being poorly treated they wouldn't let you go behind the scenes to see them, they have nothing to hide from anyone. The circus has inspections and they wouldn't have been issued their licence if there were any major concerns. I am an animal lover and all I can further say is don't tar everyone with the same brush, not everyone is the same, go along and see for yourselves and you will see that the animals are cared for. Great show from Circus Mondao and i would definitely visit again. mcbt86
  • Score: 8

9:17pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Ceri Hind says...

These animals are loved and very well cared for.... they are not forced to perform and they looked very relaxed and happy during the performance. I went to see the animals after the performance and they are kept in clean, sheltered enclosures with plenty of food and water. Well done to circus Mondao. Children love to see the animals and it would be a crying shame if you could no longer tour with them! I personally cannot wait until they come back to Haverfordwest x
These animals are loved and very well cared for.... they are not forced to perform and they looked very relaxed and happy during the performance. I went to see the animals after the performance and they are kept in clean, sheltered enclosures with plenty of food and water. Well done to circus Mondao. Children love to see the animals and it would be a crying shame if you could no longer tour with them! I personally cannot wait until they come back to Haverfordwest x Ceri Hind
  • Score: 6

12:10am Fri 11 Apr 14

Andy Lewis says...

I don't work for a circus but I do have an interest in both circuses and animals and have seen Circus Mondao on numerous occasions. I am guessing that the two people who spoke against animals in the Circus have been no where near Circus Mondao or indeed probably any other UK circus that includes animals within its performances. If they had, then they would of learned something. Several circuses are now licensed by the Secretary of State to work, perform and travel animals classified by the Government as being wild! These animals include camel, zebra, reindeer, snakes in addition to the obvious ones such as lions, tigers, elephants etc. These circuses have received a license by the Government for one reason and that is because they are fully compliant in all aspects of animal husbandry and animal welfare. The animal trainers certainly on Circus Mondao have a long history in the circus world and indeed for working with/training a wide variety of animals. Circus Mondao and all other UK circuses take animal welfare very seriously, although I am fully aware of incidents involving SOME circuses but its very easy to be critical of something you haven't experienced (going to a circus) and something you don't understand or indeed in the minds of traditional animal circus critics minds don't want to understand. I am confident that Circus Mondao not only upholds the traditions of classical circus here in the UK but at the foremost, is animal welfare. All their stables, indoor/outdoor exercise areas and vehicles comply with current Government regulations imposed recently on circuses that wish to include 'wild' animals. These circuses have had to go through a huge amount of paperwork and inspections to even qualify for a license and yes, they have a license for the second year running, which is a fantastic achievement, which clearly shows they are doing the job right! Such a pity that people who have never seen you, the show or indeed the animals are allowed to have a biased opinion in a newspaper, to me, that is sloppy easy journalism and should not be allowed or indeed tolerated. There is mention in the newspaper article of the RSPCA, well we all know they don't support performing animals of any kind, not just in circuses, yet when circuses are inspected by local inspectors, the comments are usually favourable. One of the above writers mentions CAPS, who are nothing but a bunch of vocal banner brandishing loudmouths, who between them have never rescued an injured, abandoned or abused animal, instead they stand outside pet fairs, zoos and circuses making claims that these things are cruel and should be banned and asking gullible members of the public for donations. So called animal rights groups who are registered as a charity, who stand outside perfectly legal above board business and make false claims should be banned. Long live Government licensed traditional animal classical circuses who uphold the traditions of circus and lead the way in animal welfare.
I don't work for a circus but I do have an interest in both circuses and animals and have seen Circus Mondao on numerous occasions. I am guessing that the two people who spoke against animals in the Circus have been no where near Circus Mondao or indeed probably any other UK circus that includes animals within its performances. If they had, then they would of learned something. Several circuses are now licensed by the Secretary of State to work, perform and travel animals classified by the Government as being wild! These animals include camel, zebra, reindeer, snakes in addition to the obvious ones such as lions, tigers, elephants etc. These circuses have received a license by the Government for one reason and that is because they are fully compliant in all aspects of animal husbandry and animal welfare. The animal trainers certainly on Circus Mondao have a long history in the circus world and indeed for working with/training a wide variety of animals. Circus Mondao and all other UK circuses take animal welfare very seriously, although I am fully aware of incidents involving SOME circuses but its very easy to be critical of something you haven't experienced (going to a circus) and something you don't understand or indeed in the minds of traditional animal circus critics minds don't want to understand. I am confident that Circus Mondao not only upholds the traditions of classical circus here in the UK but at the foremost, is animal welfare. All their stables, indoor/outdoor exercise areas and vehicles comply with current Government regulations imposed recently on circuses that wish to include 'wild' animals. These circuses have had to go through a huge amount of paperwork and inspections to even qualify for a license and yes, they have a license for the second year running, which is a fantastic achievement, which clearly shows they are doing the job right! Such a pity that people who have never seen you, the show or indeed the animals are allowed to have a biased opinion in a newspaper, to me, that is sloppy easy journalism and should not be allowed or indeed tolerated. There is mention in the newspaper article of the RSPCA, well we all know they don't support performing animals of any kind, not just in circuses, yet when circuses are inspected by local inspectors, the comments are usually favourable. One of the above writers mentions CAPS, who are nothing but a bunch of vocal banner brandishing loudmouths, who between them have never rescued an injured, abandoned or abused animal, instead they stand outside pet fairs, zoos and circuses making claims that these things are cruel and should be banned and asking gullible members of the public for donations. So called animal rights groups who are registered as a charity, who stand outside perfectly legal above board business and make false claims should be banned. Long live Government licensed traditional animal classical circuses who uphold the traditions of circus and lead the way in animal welfare. Andy Lewis
  • Score: 3

8:19am Fri 11 Apr 14

SASHA.P says...

Utterly ridiculous these rescues need to stop being so pathetic I have worked with animals all my life and am qualified in various animals welfare qualifications as well as many years of experience working at local rescues yes the sound of travelling animals gives a terrible picture but in reality I visited this circus with my children last year in Newport and the animals were happy healthy and no signs what so ever of distress infact it was the only time I have ever seen a camel smile!and I have the photo somewhere to prove it! these animals are stimulated daily not just locked up in cages they are actually thriving from what they do .As for the RSPCA I will never donate another penny after discovering they put healthy animals to sleep I don't sit in take away car parks rescuing dumped cats only for them to put the cat down and make out to me it went to a feral colony and was totally wild when it was not as I handled it and it was not feral !never again and as for PETA yes they do a good job with certain things but again they are killing animals also you only have to do a quick search on the net to find this out !
Utterly ridiculous these rescues need to stop being so pathetic I have worked with animals all my life and am qualified in various animals welfare qualifications as well as many years of experience working at local rescues yes the sound of travelling animals gives a terrible picture but in reality I visited this circus with my children last year in Newport and the animals were happy healthy and no signs what so ever of distress infact it was the only time I have ever seen a camel smile!and I have the photo somewhere to prove it! these animals are stimulated daily not just locked up in cages they are actually thriving from what they do .As for the RSPCA I will never donate another penny after discovering they put healthy animals to sleep I don't sit in take away car parks rescuing dumped cats only for them to put the cat down and make out to me it went to a feral colony and was totally wild when it was not as I handled it and it was not feral !never again and as for PETA yes they do a good job with certain things but again they are killing animals also you only have to do a quick search on the net to find this out ! SASHA.P
  • Score: 3

12:12pm Fri 11 Apr 14

-trigg- says...

To my mind, the quote from PETA can be discounted purely because of the history of the organisation. You get the feeling that they'd campaign to ban leather shoes given half a chance, let alone anything involving live animals.

The RSPCA quote given is a general stateement of policy from that organisation rather than one based on conditions and the treatment of animals at this particular circus.

There is nothing to suggest any mis-treatment or harm to the animal's welfare in this case. Certainly, they have been looked after far better than would have been the case in the wild.
To my mind, the quote from PETA can be discounted purely because of the history of the organisation. You get the feeling that they'd campaign to ban leather shoes given half a chance, let alone anything involving live animals. The RSPCA quote given is a general stateement of policy from that organisation rather than one based on conditions and the treatment of animals at this particular circus. There is nothing to suggest any mis-treatment or harm to the animal's welfare in this case. Certainly, they have been looked after far better than would have been the case in the wild. -trigg-
  • Score: 3

12:47pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Jimport says...

Monmouthshire Merlin wrote:
There is a permanent circus you can visit in Cardiff Bay.
It's called the Welsh Assembly. In addition to some wild animals there is an abundance of clowns of all political persuasion!
Campaign to close it and protect your children from danger.
There's another one in Devon, UKIP headquarters.
[quote][p][bold]Monmouthshire Merlin[/bold] wrote: There is a permanent circus you can visit in Cardiff Bay. It's called the Welsh Assembly. In addition to some wild animals there is an abundance of clowns of all political persuasion! Campaign to close it and protect your children from danger.[/p][/quote]There's another one in Devon, UKIP headquarters. Jimport
  • Score: -2

8:17pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Bobster. says...

This is a wonderful Circus, the Animals are extremely well looked after by people to clearly adore them . Well done Circus Mondao on a wonderful happy and well executed program.
This is a wonderful Circus, the Animals are extremely well looked after by people to clearly adore them . Well done Circus Mondao on a wonderful happy and well executed program. Bobster.
  • Score: 3

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