A CIRCUS is coming to Horsforth despite calls from an animal rights group for a boycott.

Circus Mondao will be staged in the car boot field, on Otley Old Road from September 27 to October 8.

Animal Defenders International is calling on people to boycott the circus, which is currently performing in Wilsden. Activists claim the use of animals in acts is cruel and outdated and they say Circus Mondao is one of just two circuses still featuring wild animal acts. But circus bosses have hit back, saying they adhere to strict regulations and that all the animals are well looked after.

"We have repeatedly documented the suffering and abuse of wild animals in circuses," said ADI president, Jan Creamer. "Circuses simply cannot meet the needs of wild animals in small, mobile accommodation.

"People can help stop the suffering by not going to a circus which has animals."

But Circus Mondao, whose line-up includes horses and camels, says many independent inspections are carried out to ensure the animals are fit and well and being properly cared for.

It says: "We always put the satisfaction of our audience and the wellbeing of our lovely animals in first place. When we move from town to town, our main concern is for our animals and the conditions in which they travel. The average distance travelled is only between 20 and 50 miles."

In its programme it says: "We love our animals", adding "We've always been proud of the high standard of welfare, housing and transport at Circus Mondao."

It says: "In 2012 Defra brought in new regulations that circuses touring with wild animals must obtain a special licence. We've had to pass rigorous tests and inspections to obtain our licence. No other animals in entertainment are subject to such tough controls, or undergo so many inspections and spot checks each year."

Circus Mondao describes itself as a traditional family circus with attractions including acrobats, a clown, showgirls, jugglers, wirewalking, trapeze and hand balancing strong men.

Visit www.circusmondao.co.uk for further details.