SIR – Animals don’t belong in a circus. The constant transportation from town to town for ten months each year and confinement for long periods means that a travelling circus can never meet all of the needs of these animals, whether elephants, lions, tigers or horses.

Claims by circuses that animals are stimulated by performances are false. In fact, the same tricks are generally repeated for years. Animals are trained away from the scrutiny of the public, politicians or welfare groups. Undercover investigations at circuses in the UK have revealed animals beaten with sticks, bars and whips and sick animals hidden from the RSPCA.

There is no educational value in seeing these once-proud animals reduced to performing tricks in an unnatural environment. Circuses teach a lack of respect for animals.

The Captive Animals’ Protection Society is not opposed to circuses, only to the use of animals, and we encourage people to avoid animal circuses, and instead visit one of the many excellent shows that rely entirely on human skills.

We also ask people to write to their MP, asking them to encourage the Government to ban the use of animals in circuses.

Paul Thomas, campaigns assistant, The Captive Animals’ Protection Society, PO Box 4186, Manchester