An animal charity has called on the public to boycott a circus.

Captive Animals’ Protection Society wants people to stay away from Circus Mondao, whose big top is in Silsden this week, because it features animals such as camels and zebras, goats and llamas.

CAPS campaigns director Craig Redmond, said: “We would encourage people to avoid all animal circuses and wait until one of the many amazing all-human shows arrives in town.

“People can enjoy circuses without animals being forced to perform.

“Most circuses now feature an all-human cast, removing the need to keep animals confined for long periods, transport them around the country and use hidden training methods to make them perform in the ring.”

But ring mistress Petra Jackson has defended the use of animals, and hits back at Mr Redmond’s claims. “You just need to look at these animals to see how well-kept they are. If people have any concerns they should come and speak to me,” she said.

“It’s not in our interest not to care for them well – this is what we enjoy and how we make our living.

“If animal circuses were banned, this circus would not exist. We love our animals, and that’s why we’re here.”

She said it was wrong to claim they were confined for long periods and to imply their animals were forced to perform.

“Tell me what is the difference between our trained animals and those dogs at Crufts which have to do tricks? None,” she added.

A Bradford Council spokesman said circuses were not allowed on Council-owned land but they were permitted elsewhere.

Animal welfare staff checked to ensure the circus had the proper licences and inspected the animals.

Circus Mondao is performing today, tomorrow and Friday at 5pm and 7.30pm, Saturday at 2pm and 5pm and Sunday at 2pm.