25 September 2014
Members of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party – including Mark Dawes - joined protesters outside Zippos Circus in Barkingside to protest against the circus using animals in its performances on the opening night, Thursday 25th September. The protest was also supported by the Waltham Forest Animal Protection group.
Zippos Circus are one of only a few circuses in the UK that continue to use animals, the majority do not. Zippos Circus use horses, ponies and budgerigars in their performances.
Using any animal in a circus is cruel. Whilst horses and ponies may be domesticated animals, they too suffer in circuses and are often forced to perform tricks under duress. The animals spend large amounts of time being transported around the country and are often tethered for long periods when not travelling, so do not get enough exercise. Opinion polls show a large majority of people want a ban on all animals in circuses.
The circus site – opposite Fairlop Waters – is on a fast road which is clearly dangerous, with cars slowing down suddenly to enter the circus. The road safety implications of this site have been raised in the past with the police and Redbridge Council but to no avail.
“It is very disappointing to see a circus with animals in Redbridge when there are many other circuses without animals that can be enjoyed without the cruelty” said Mark Dawes of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party. “It is cruel to the animals involved and we will be working to ban all animal circuses from Redbridge,” he added.