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Last Updated: Tuesday March 03 2009 05:54 GMT

Should circuses use wild animals?

An elephant at a zoo in Germany

People who go to a circus in Nottinghamshire will be able to watch something a little unusual - elephants.

They haven't been used in circuses for around 10 years after complaints, but now one circus is bringing them back.

So what do you think of elephants performing as part of a circus?

Is it wrong to use them as performers, or is it a good idea so that lots more people can see the animals in real life and learn more about them?

And what about other wild animals? Should there be a ban on using them in circuses completely?

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

Your comments

"I think that it is wrong that elephants or any other animal should be treated in that way. They deserve to be in their natural habitat. They should also be treated in the same way as any other living creature. They are not designed to be dressed up in an unsuitable manner because I believe that animal cruelty is wrong. Animals in circuses should be set free. They deserve to have some dignity as well."

Ellie, 9, Devon, England

"I think no, mainly because animals in the wild should be kept in the wild. That is their home and you don't want to take them away from their home and their family."

Lois, 12, Bristol, England

"It is cruel and it should be banned."

Rachel, 14, Suffolk, England

"I think it is a good idea to have the elephants performing as long as they are well looked after because elephants are not used to the cold, so that could affect them, but the audience will probably love them."

Molly, 11, London, England

"I think it's just as cruel as being in a zoo and they might find it more fun in the circus."

Darcie and Layne, 11, London, England

"We think it is disgraceful."

Chelsea and Holly, 13, Isle of Wight, England

"I think that the circus should be allowed to use wild animals as long as the animals are treated well and they aren't forced to do anything they don't want to do."

Hazel, 9, Canada

"I think that wild animals should be banned from performing altogether because it's not fair to keep them travelling around, especially when they are thousands of miles away from their natural habitat. The weather here in the UK is so different to their homelands, and they should be allowed to be roam free."

Ellie, 13, Lancashire, England

"Elephants are one of my favourite animals and it's cruel because I know I wouldn't like to be forced to perform."

Asma, 11, Manchester, England

"I don't think that they should use wild animals in the circus. If they are wild, let them stay wild."

Bethany, 12, Spain

"No, they shouldn't be allowed to do tricks - what if they hurt themselves badly!"

Bethanie, 11, Tamworth, England

"I hate the idea. Animals are performers in themselves with their natural behaviour, they don't need to learn how to do this. I agree it would look cool but to the animal it wouldn't."

Catalina, 11, England

"I think that all animals have as much right being free as we do, so if we can do what we want to do why shouldn't the animals?"

Maisie, 12, England

"There is an amazing circus called Cirque du Soleil. They are an animal free circus and they are INCREDIBLE!"

Robin, 14, England

"No! It's cruel and unfair. How would they like to be constantly forced to do tricks and then shoved into cages and moved around the country?"

Izzi, 12, Essex, England

"I don`t think elephants should be used in circuses because it is cruel. Where I live circuses with live animals are not allowed."

Madelaine, 5, Stockport, England

"Animals shouldn't be made to perform in circuses. I've been to the circus twice, and neither performance used animals, but they were still amazing! Using animals doesn't make a circus performance any better - it just takes the freedom away from the animal."

Mandy, 14, England

"I don't think that elephants should be used in circuses even if they are treated well because it is cruel. There should be a ban to stop all animals performing."

Anisha, 12, Leicester, England

"I think they should have elephants in the circus because children like animals."

Zac, 10, Manchester, England

"I think that we should see elephants in the circus because they will look wicked."

Jacob, 12, Cardiff, Wales

"All animals should be free to do what they like, not what other people want them to do."

Aoibh, 9, Derry, Northern Ireland

"Elephants are my favourite animal but I would hate to see them perform - it's too cruel."

Rebecca, 11, Fife, Scotland

"I think it's horrible. Elephants don't want to be made to do tricks. Think of all of those lights and loud noises scaring them."

Natalie, 13, Buckinghamshire, England

"I think that it is quite cruel to make animals perform if they don't want to. Sometimes people get carried away and make the animals wear strange ugly costumes, which isn't fair to the poor creatures!"

Katy, 10, Chester, England

"I think it's animal cruelty and the government should stop circuses using wild or endangered creatures."

Olivia, 11, London, England

"It's wrong to use them as performers because they could get hurt."

Charlotte, 14, Leicestershire, England

"It's unfair because humans get to choose if they go in the circus, but animals can't. It's so unfair, I think it should be banned."

Emily, 13, Middlesbrough, England

"I don't understand how circuses can do such a thing. I think using animals to perform should be banned. How would THEY like it if they were taken from their homes and were told to perform?"

Annett, 11, London, England

"I think it is really cruel because the animals have no clue where they are and they must be really scared. They should stay in the wild."

Adam, 13, Hertfordshire, England

"I think it is cruel as the elephants may be injured and really they should be in their more natural surroundings."

Georgina, 10, Buckinghamshire, England

"I don't think it is fair on the animals to perform in the circus because they don't understand what is happening and they would much rather be in the wild where they belong. People shouldn't be allowed to use animals."

Tabitha, 13, UK

"I think it's great seeing wild animals you wouldn't normally see. I think that circuses that do have these animals will be treating them well because they will not be wanting complaints that could get them banned."

Jacob, 15, Kent, England

"I think it's really cruel to have wild animals in the circus because they are not used to doing tricks."

Alexander, 12, Essex, England

"I think it is nice for people to see the animals in the circus."

Kitty, 8, Ipswich, England

"There should not be any animals in the circus because it is cruel."

James, 11, Liverpool, England

"I would love to see elephants perform but I don't like it when they are forced to do things and are mistreated."

Lucy, 11, Manchester, England

"No! I think it's really cruel to use wild animals, or any animals in circuses, or showcase them in any other way. Wild animals should be in the wild, where they belong."

Alice, 14, Worcester, England

"No they shouldn't let them use animals for tourists because they are wild animals."

Shannon and Molly, 11, Ipswich, England

"Well, yes if they don't make them do stuff they don't want to. Dogs and horses are OK as long as they don't hurt them or abuse them."

Freya, 12 Maidstone, England

"No because I don't think it's fair!"

Roma, 11, Derby, England

"I don't think animals should be kept in circuses because I think it's cruel. I wouldn't like it if they took me away from my family."

Sammy, 10, London, England