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Last Updated: Wednesday January 25 2006 18:32 GMT

Should animals be banned from the circus?

Circus clown and elephant
Animal charities are calling for a ban on circuses using animals in their acts.

Tigers, lions, elephants and zebra are among some of the animals kept in UK circuses.

Do you think animals should be banned from the circus?

Do you think the show wouldn't be as spectacular if it didn't have performing animals?

Maybe you think if there are no animals, there shouldn't be any circuses at all?

E-mail and tell us what you think.

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your Comments

My dad runs his own circus and it has no animals but my dog joins in the fun when he can! I do not think wild animals should be tamed for the circus or pets for that matter, but if like my dog he wants to join in then that's ok. And my dad says that the children are animal enough for his circus!
Otto, 10, Goole

Ok, it is fun seeing animals in the circus but it is downright CRUEL. I wouldn't want to be beaten just to do tricks so why should they?
Sophie, 15, Staffordshire

Yes, animals should be banned from the circus. It is cruel to make them perform.
Ruth, 12, Scotland

I think it's outrageous to have animals working day in day out for our pleasure, some of these animals are amazing and they need big spaces and certain needs and they wont be getting them met in the circus.
Matt, 15, Manchester

It is cruel to the animals whether they are treated well or not - they are being kept under the rule of humans when they are naturally wild and should be allowed to follow their instincts and not be kept as entertainment.
Rowena, 14, Milton Keynes

I think that if animals want to perform then let them. Animals should only be banned from the circus if they are being treated badly.
Padme, 12, Manchester

I think that all animals should be banned from the circus because even though they can't communicate, they still have feelings and are meant to be in the wild!
Kirsten, 12, Brockham

Animals have a right to be happy and have freedom just as we do. Why should we have 20 minutes of excitement at their expense?
Alice, 12, Belfast

I think that it's definitely wrong to keep animals locked up in cages and then force them to perform. It's cruel and if people want to watch animals, they should watch them in their natural habitat- the wild!!!
Heidi, 12, Truro

I don't think it's fair that animals have been taken out of their natural habitat and been made to perform.
Lynsey, 11, Wimborne

I think it's terribly cruel to keep animals in the circus. In zoos and safari parks it's OK because the animals are cared for properly and their habitat there is not so different from the wild. Circuses will have many other entertaining acts other than animal ones anyway.
Charley, 11, Tunbridge Wells

Yes, as it is not very nice.
Matti, 11, USA

I don't think they should be banned because they are funny.
Connor, 12, Bracknell

It's mean, think of the poor things scared to death being the spot light in the show. Give the poor things a break, they are living creatures too.
Olivia, 11, New Zealand

Personally, I am not satisfied it is a disgrace. Animals should be treated like us. It's animal cruelty.
Sam, 15, Dalton

Absolutely yes! It's cruel and disgusting, something should really be done to help these poor creatures.
Lola, 13, Stourton

Circuses should have never used animals. The animals suffer stress.
Laura, 13, Hagely

I don't think that is fair! A circus is not a circus without animals!
Adam, 13, Yatton

Definitely. Most are kept in terrible conditions and forced to work almost everyday. They must be whipped or frightened in some way to learn the tricks they perform. It is disgusting the way they are treated and it should definitely be banned.
Becky, 11, Oswestry

I think that it is not right. Animals can be tamed but not to do tricks to make people feel happy.
Claire, 10, Croydon

Yes they should be banned because they get treated badly and get made to do things they don't want to do!
Amy, 10, Northampton

Not all of them are treated badly, they get more exercise in the circus than they do locked up in a zoo.
Rachael, 13, Birmingham

I think ALL animals should be allowed freedom. Circuses should be able to entertain the crowd with people and their talents, without having to use animals.
Benjamin, 10, Cirencester

I think it depends on whether the animals are wild or not. Wild animals should be allowed to live in the wild and banned from the circus but domestic animals should be allowed, the domestic animals should be given lots of room to live in.
Jonathan, 11, Cirencester

We think wild animals should not be in the circus. We don't mind having domestic animals in the circus as they are used to being indoors and travelling.
Tiffany & Sapphire, 10/11, Cirencester

I think it's ok to keep animals in the circus as long as they are being kept correctly. I've seen a circus in my town and they let the animals wander in a farmer's field.
Emily, 13, Kenilworth

The circus should grow up and lose the animals - it's boring! There's lots more technology and things they could do that would be much cooler.
Libba, 15, Oxford

Species go and species come. I don't think it's bad at all. I do not agree though with the actions of humans that destroy nature just to get fancy things. We destroy forests and kill animals just to get a profit or fancy clothes.
Raul, 15, Mexico

Don't animals have the same rights as us? How would we like it if we were made fun of and hurt in front of lots of people! It's embarrassing and immature of us to be so mean to animals!
Jamie, 14, Newcastle

I think it's disgraceful that these WILD ANIMALS are kept in the circus as they are WILD they should not be performing for people's enjoyment.
Kay, 11, Wigan

I believe that to degrade animals in this way is wrong. This is because humans are meant to be the cleverest creatures on earth, yet again, instead of trying to help these animals to thrive we treat them as if they have no feelings.
Ben, 15, Chester

Animals in the circus for entertainment I think it's ridiculous
Nadia, 15, Luton.

I don't think it is fair that animals should be in a circus. If they must they have to be well looked after and not be a full-timer.
Jana, 10, Colorado

I think animals should be banned because there not even funny.
Frances, 11, Wakefield.

I think animals deserve the best and not to be laughed at in the circus or teased, it's just cruel.
Abigail, 11, March

I don't think there should be animals in circus because they don't learn to behave as wild animals should.
Madeleine, 8, Stafford

I love all animal but having any animal in circus is cruel.
Emma, 13, Bedford

I think animals should definitely be banned from the circus! It's cruel and either trainer or animal could get hurt.
Lucy, 11, Byfleet

I think it is ok to keep animals in a circus as long as they treat them nicely, then no one worries.
Rachel, 15, Anglesey

I don't agree with using animals in the circus because whenever I see it, it always looks so cruel.
Katharine, 12, Hull

I think it is ok but I think wild animals should not be there. Two people in my family work in a circus but they don't use wild animals and only let animals in that are not from the wild.
Georgia, 8, Heywood

I think it is unfair. Most people hate it when they get laughed at so why should we do it to animals? Animals have as much right to live freely in this world as we do!
Alice, 13, Cambridge

The animals are good in the circus and we should look after them. It would be a shame not to have them anymore.
Tom, 12, Chester

I think that animals should be banned from the circus because there is no way of making sure they are treating the animals properly and I think it's cruel to see them forced to perform tricks just for our entertainment.
Alex, 9, Cambridge

I think that animals should only be released into the wild if they know how to survive. Otherwise, you could release them into a zoo. If that doesn't work then keep them in the circus, providing they have good care and a big cage/space.
Jenny, 8, Gloucester

I think it's cruel to take an animal away from it's natural habitat just for the amusement of humans.
Sophie, 12, Farnham

There is no need to keep animals in a circus, it is cruel and unnecessary. I have been to see the Electric Circus which has performers but no animals and it was brilliant!
Natalie, 13, Dunfermline

I think it's ok as long as they treat them fairly.
Katy, 11, Emsworth

I think it's alright for animals to perform in circuses - what harm are they doing? As long as they are treated ok there wouldn't be nothing to worry about.
Craig, 13, Wigan

I think animals should be banned from the circus because they are kept in cramped cages and it is not in the animals nature to do tricks and perform for people.
Jacob, 12, Studley

Circus animals don't just perform if you tell them to, the trainers whip them and don't take care of them at all, keeping them in the circus is wrong.
Abi, 15, Reading

I think it is really bad that wild animals are made to perform in front of the public and get put in small cages when they are travelling around.
Lucy, 11, Essex

No, it's not fair on the animals! They only get one life too and humans are ruining it for them. Many animals are probably terrified jumping through rings of fire etc, but have been forced into doing it. It should be stopped now.
Jess, 14, Barnsley

I've been at a circus and really enjoyed it and it had animals in it. It was really good and you could see the animals before and after the show and all the animals looked happy cause there were at least 2 animals each and if they had kids they were kept in the same place.
Hayley, 12, Belfast

I think as long as animals are safe and aren't being treated badly, then it's fine. It's when they aren't being treated well is when animals should be taken away.
Lizzie, 15, London

I watched the Two Brothers and at one point the tigers were made to go through a fire hoop! It's not fair and lots of animals are living a life of misery. We have to free the animals and put them back in their natural habitat before its too late. If we do something now the animals can live the rest of their life happily!
Sonia, 13, Thames Barrier

It depends, if the animal is happy then it can stay, but if it isn't then it should leave. I don't like it when animals get whipped though, that is cruel.
Nicola, 12, Cumbria

I don't think that animals should be used for our own entertainment. Humans should not be using nature as entertainment. If they really want to be entertained, go and see the animals in their natural habitat, where they should be.
Jennifer, 14, Glasgow

Animals should be banned from the circus. It's horrible to see them in cages. It's up to us to speak up for them because they can't.
Katie, 12, Telford

Animals are living things as well and are used as objects of ridicule. We wouldn't like to be laughed at so neither do they!
Safiya, 14, Dewsbury

If they are being treated nicely they should be ok in a circus. It shows that animals are clever, the ones who can do good tricks. The animals should like get treats after.
Katie, 15, Manchester

I think that people should check if they are being treated properly, and have the authority to ban certain circuses using them. Also, the animals at the moment can't be set free, so they should be put into zoos or sanctuaries to be looked after.
Charlie, 12, Fleet

They should definitely be banned. People earn money from treating them badly, and apart from free food, what is the benefit for the animals?
Daniela, 9, Oswestry

I think it's just another sign of animal cruelty. Animals aren't here to make people money for something they don't even do, they should be respected just like us!
Sean & Theodore, 15, Cumbria

I think animals should be banned from the circus. It is cruel to keep them locked up in small cages, and making them do things they don't want to do. People say "what's a circus without animals?" The circus isn't just about animals, it's about laughing and having fun, not about watching animals being sad.
Jaimi, 13, Hertfordshire

I think wild animals shouldn't be in circuses. They should be able to live free, like they are supposed to, and not forced to perform for the amusement of people watching the circus.
Rachel, 13, Oxford

I love elephants and I think all animals should be banned from the circus. why should they be forced to dress up and humiliated?
Alice, 14, London

Yes yes yes!!! I think it's so sick and twisted to make an animal perform human tricks like painting!!! I prefer the acrobats.
Aimee, 13, Frimley

I think it's weird that so many circuses claim that being in captivity is better than the wild. Which would you prefer - being stuck in a cage and jumping through hoops, or in the wild jumping on the prairies? Let the animals go free!
Maria, 11, Belfast

It's not natural for animals to be kept in a tent to learn tricks. They should be left in the wild where they belong!
Cara, 11, London

Animals should no way be used in the circus it is cruel and they are kept in nasty and depressing conditions. If I was an animal forced to perform tricks I would not like it would you?
Leanne, 14, Pinner

Yes definitely! I think it's cruel to force animals to do things, even if people think they are treating them nicely - the animals could be really unhappy.
Tia, 13, Ryde

What is a circus without animals? If they are badly treated then it should be banned, otherwise it's fine!
Aimee, 14, Doncaster

I think that it's not right to whip animals just so they learn new tricks I think it's wrong to lock up animals and I think that they should be set free so they live in the wild where they belong. We wouldn't like it if we were locked up in a cage all our lives.
Mollie, 13, Spain

I think it is cruel to force animals to perform for people. The animals should be in their natural environment with others of their kind, not stuffed in some tiny cage forced to do tricks for circus watchers.
Rebecca, 14, Brill

I don't think they should be banned. They should be banned if they get treated badly.
Jo, 12, Uttoxeter

I don't think that animals should be banned from the circus because it will not be fun to go and watch it as they are the best thing that I like about the circus so please let the animals stay.
Vicky, 15, Belfast

When the animals are treated right then it is ok but if the animals are treated badly then yes animals should not be in circuses.
Stephy, 14, Penzance

I think it is cruel to do that. They are better dead than being put it in a circus.
Natasha, 10, Canning Town

I think that they shouldn't be in circuses because they should live in the wild to live happily.
Matty, 13, Ramsgate

I think that keeping animals in the circus is absolutely disgusting and cruel. They are wild animals and deserve to be free. The circus would not be as good as without the animals, but they shouldn't be made to perform tricks!!!
Lucy, 15, Surrey

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