Animals have no choice

PUBLISHED: 11:27 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:35 31 May 2010

WITH a policy that still allows any performing animals in circuses (Reporter, September 18) the people of Saffron Walden could soon see a crocodile, lions, tigers, zebras or a bull on the common. They could also be faced with the disgusting spectacle of a

WITH a policy that still allows any performing animals in circuses (Reporter, September 18) the people of Saffron Walden could soon see a crocodile, lions, tigers, zebras or a bull on the common. They could also be faced with the disgusting spectacle of a fox riding a donkey. Or perhaps the arthritic elephant will be back as her owner is already making applications to return. The town council will decide.

The town council relies on the clerk to obtain a vet's certificate for the animals, so how come he deemed it in order for a lame pony, an arthritic elephant and a horse with a severe respiratory disease (COPD) to be brought to Saffron Walden? An RSPCA equine inspector discovered the sick horse at Saffron Walden and was told it was due to be shot.

The pony had already been killed when she did her inspection. Perhaps these problems were deliberately not listed on the certificate, so what price its validity? What was the issue date on the vet's certificate? Who issued it? And why wasn't an independent veterinary inspection ordered?

The councillors who voted in favour of animal circuses stressed the importance of giving people choice.

Interestingly, more than 300 people chose to sign a petition against animal circuses but this did not sway the majority of the council. However, it was heartening to hear some councillors expressing the moral argument for moving away from this exploitative entertainment where the animals have no choice.

Sue Hughes, Linton, Captive Animals' Protection Society

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