Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Assembly for Wales

Y Pwyllgor Newid Hinsawdd, Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig | Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee


Bil Anifeiliaid Gwyllt a Syrcasau (Cymru) | Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Bill

WA 07A

Ymateb gan : Cyfarwyddwr, Circus Mondao

Evidence from : Director, Circus Mondao


There are some issue that I would like the committee to consider.

Our animals have purpose built stabling and transport that has been inspected by Defra zoo vets as part of our Licensing inspections. Yes, the animals travel, but they all load into and unload into the transporter very willingly as they feel content and this is no different to someone who transports their horse to a horse show each weekend.  All our animals have hay while travelling and maximum time on the transporter is 4 hours which is well within the transport for animal’s regulations. All our exotic animals are stabled at night under tents in large roomy pens and in daytime they have access to electric fence paddocks till evening.  It’s the same as any zoo but with the nature of the circus at every new site they will get new grass unlike other industries where they always live in the same paddock.

Training.  Is once a day, about ten minutes for each animal and once our exotic animals have been introduced to the circus as a performance it would not be necessary to do any further training, and they would only perform twice a day for about 2 minutes, which they enjoy.

Training does not go on for hours on end like the animal rights people like you to believe , it’s more a case of little and often.

As it would now be considered that animals are sentients. So what about their feelings and health in all of this? They are happy to be a part of the circus. All of our animals thrive in this environment; look exceptionally well; live exceedingly long lives (ie our past zebras lived to the ages of Sinbad 26 years, Zebedee 32 years old). They are free to roam around our circus sites as and when they please. There is no evidence to say that our animal are any worse off than zoos or safari parks (see Radford Report), its only the animal rights opinion that it is ethically not correct.  They are pushing for a ban and we circuses are only the tip of the animal rights iceberg.  We also need to think the effect this could have on the wild animals to leave them behind at home and rip them away from their herd and family. Would that not cause them stress being forced to be given away to a sanctuary as Miss Carys Bennett suggested?

I would like to point out that some off the other side’s evidence was misleading. We care very much about the welfare off our animals and would not dream of sending them to inferior conditions at Hillside animal sanctuary, as was recommended by Miss Bennett. If Miss Bennett has truly done research as  she claims on how we whip our animals and have cruel training methods I would like to see her research and know where she got this information as none of which are true. I am shocked that she has also not done any research into the sanctuary before making such a recommendation.  Hillside animal sanctuary have no experience in Exotic animals -- they had one dromedary camel a few years ago that they claimed “could have ended up in a circus “  if they did not have it.  I have seen some shocking things written about them in the media and to think that she would recommend them is shocking.  They have a problem looking after the domestic animals. There has been instances of their horses escaping onto roads; one was killed after a collision with a vehicle near Great Yarmouth, they turn out groups of horses onto the marshes that run either side of the Acle Straight with only ditches bordering the fields onto a fast main A road, with no shelter from the elements be it sun, rain or wind, ( 5 freedoms not being met)Or would it be just for the sanctuaries benefit so they can claim to have rescued animals from a circus and drum up business for the sanctuary?

The owner of the sanctuary Wendy Valentine in 2005 was cautioned by police over a protest she staged in Norwich city centre.

In 2001 along with a colleague she was fined for trespassing on to a pig farm in north Norfolk, They pleaded guilty to entering an infected premises during the SWINE FEVER outbreak, and was fined nearly £5000. The judge described the way valentine and accomplice collected evidence as IMPROPER, ILLEGAL, INTRUSIVE AND IRRESPONSIBLE.  He also dismissed their video evidence.

So I’m surprised that Miss Bennett would suggest to send our animals to a place like this where they have no respect for the law or care about transmitting diseases.

Hillside is home to 2500 horses and ponies, 650 cattle, 500 sheep and goats, 300 pigs and lots of other rescued small animals. How many staff do they have to give the individual care to these animals?

As it’s her who is the accuser, I would like Miss Bennett to prove that Circus Mondao has welfare issues with their training methods or conditions as she implies in her statement. We don’t have any animals that stand on their front paws or balance on balls or ropes.

Miss Bennett makes quotes from a trainer in America.  She is misinforming you. The person she has quoted was a groom and would never have trained any elephants.  PETA is one of the organisations that had to pay Ringling Brothers circus $15.75 million dollars in damages for making false allegations, The activists payment of large sums to another witness were condemned by the judge as bribery; the witness was proved to be a perjurer. These are examples of the falseness of campaigns from these organisations, condemned by the US judge as “vexatious , groundless and unreasonable” .

We have proved that the Licensing scheme works well and would look forward to seeing Wales have a similar licence. Whereas reading between the lines the animal rights team thought DEFRAS licence was no good.

The only two static circuses in the UK do not have grazing or outdoor paddock for the animals but it will be acceptable to have wild performing animals there! A sealion show in a zoo is not a static circus as she stated.  So much of these people’s words is twisted to mislead you.

I feel we meet all of the Five Freedoms. If not would we not be in Court?

We feel  a lot of what the three animal rights panellists say is just repeating allegations and giving their opinion and not scientific facts, purely playing on emotions.

We are happy to send you video links of our animals at the circus alternatively you can go to our Facebook page CIRCUS MONDAO and click on videos, you will find a whole catalogue of videos that we do on a weekly basis showing how we move the animals and care for them.