AN ANIMALS rights group is urging people to boycott a controversial circus which is visiting Chelmsford.

The call has been made by Animal Defenders International after Big Top Productions arrived at a performance area, in a field near Nabbots roundabout, just off Essex Regiment Way.

The show, which was previously called the Great British Circus, is scheduled to perform daily in Chelmsford, up until September 16 having opened on Tuesday.

Animals used in the show include tigers, camels, horses, dogs and even reindeer.

However, the animal rights group believe the use of animals in circuses should be banned.

They say the animals, who act as the stars of the show, are poorly looked after while living life on the road, to the point where some are even beaten by their carers.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of the group, said people living in Chelmsford thinking about seeing the show should think twice.

She said: “Animals with travelling circuses are on the road for almost the entire year.

“That means they have to endure constant transportation and live in rudimentary, temporary accommodation.

“Worse, are the horrific abuses during training which Animal Defenders International has exposed behind the scenes in circuses, not just in the UK, but all over the world.

“We urge people to only go to circuses with human only acts, as those acts have a choice.”

The circus is no stranger to the action of animal rights groups. During its recent stay in Rochford it saw banner-waving campaigners protesting outside.

The Government has promised to ban the use of wild animals performing in travelling circuses.