A travelling circus has come under fire after it opened up in Awsworth this week.
Peter Jolly’s Circus, which features wild animals, opened up on Wednesday but animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI), has urged people to stay away.
ADI president Jan Creamer, said: “Time and again we have revealed the terrible abuse of wild animals in circuses and documented the unnatural lives they are forced to lead.
“Wild animals do not belong in the circus and a national ban prohibiting their use has been promised.
“Until the law is passed we urge local people not to support circus suffering and avoid Peter Jolly’s Circus.”
But workers at Peter Jolly’s Circus said its animals were all bred in captivity within the circus industry, and were monitored by regular announced and random inspections by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
A spokesperson for the circus said: “We are licensed by Defra and we are legal.”
Peter Jolly’s Circus features live shows with wild and domestic animals including lions and tigers.
It also features snakes, camels, zebras and clowns, and will be in Awsworth until Sunday.
Defra currently has a strict system in place to ensure the welfare of the circus animals, the spokesman said.
This includes announced and unannounced inspections, care plans for every animal, regular veterinary inspections and a retirement plan for each animal.
Peter Jolly’s Circus is one of just two circuses which still feature wild animal acts in the country.
ADI is currently working with authorities to enforce wild animal circus bans in Peru and Colombia and has rescued 35 big cats, a bear and 39 monkeys and other native wildlife from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade.