Martin Lacey’s Lincolnshire-based ‘Great’ British Circus is one of just four in Britain to still use wild animals, claiming to have “the largest collection of wild animals touring Britain”.
They have tigers, horses, camels and ponies. In recent years they have also had lions, zebra [ref], llamas, reindeer and goats.
Stop press – 28 August 2012
Despite an earlier announcement, the Great British Circus (GBC) insist that they will continue to use animals in circus performances. This comes despite claims made by Martin Lacey (owner of GBC) last week in an article from the Horse & Hound in which he stated he would soon stop using animals all together. Most recently, he was quoted by the Southend Echo saying he “insisted he was not planning to stop using animals.” Please read CAPS news.
Now is the time, more than ever, to demonstrate outside the Great British Circus. If you are able to demonstrate please check out the ‘expected locations’ below, and contact email@example.com if you’re available.
BUSHEY 18th – 30th September
Little Bushey Lane, Hertfordshire, WD23 3TP
CUFFLEY 2nd – 21st October
Northaw Road B156, EN6 4QZ
ROMFORD 16th Oct – 4th November (end of season)
Romford Bonzer Boot Fair Site, Whalebone Lane North, Opp. Moby Dick Pub RM6 6RB. Protests announced
The elephants used in 2009 were abandoned after an Animal Defenders investigation inside the elephant tent of the Great British Circus showed animals being hit with a metal hook, a broom and a pitchfork, as reported on Sky News.
The great british circus cancelled recent shows at Glen Parva in Leicester as the site was waterlogged. If conditions are too atrocious for the public, how are the animals suffering? They finally opened on 5th May 2012, but immediately cancelled the show citing ‘technical difficulties’, the difficulty being that only 14 people came! Protests continue…
Meanwhile in Nottingham the tram project office writes that “the City Council has taken possession of the showground area at the Japanese Water Gardens” and “confirm that the site will no longer host circuses or similar activities”. If they set up elsewhere protests will continue…
Martin Lacey ‘looses it’ – classic!
Great British Circus ringmaster abuses and assaults BBC reports whilst being interviewed!
Press reports & other info
February 2008: Circus ringmaster violently attacks BBC reporter
April 2008 – two baby tigers born into a life of captivity, never to live free with others of their own kind.
June 2008: “The days when tiger cubs could be condemned to misery in British circuses were meant to be over”. Daily Mail condemns GBC
May 2008 – Documentary about the (Not so) Great British Circus with interviews from protestors at the Grimsby shows. View Documentary on YouTube
February 2009: Great British Circus Plans for New Elephant Acts – Born Free Foundation report
February 2009: Should Elephants be going back to the circus? Times Online, quated at care2.com – 96.3% say ‘no’ as at March 29th 2009
March 2009: BBC News reports Anger over elephants’ circus show
April 2009: Leicester Mercury: Circus defends its use of animals
Beware – circus violence
Not content with the exploiting animals for entertainment and profit (though ther’s not much of this these days), circus workers are notorious for violence against protesters, the public and the media. Would you expect anything less?
There is also a video of the incident at youtube.
On 21st April, 2012 a car was vandalised outside The Great British Circus at Winterton Showground, Scunthorpe. See video of incident on YouTube, with a closeup in this 2nd clip.
Click here for A4 colour tiger poster
(50k pdf file)
Click here for A4 colour zebra poster
(40k pdf file)
‘Nothing Great About Animal Cruelty’ placard
(A4 pdf file)
‘Does the Great British Circus Deserve Your Money?’
Demo Flier (from 2009, Open Office Document)
Tour Dates and Protests
24 – March 4th: Lough – Horncastle Road – Campaign details
12 – 17: Mabledon Farm, Tonbridge (TN10 3AJ). Animal Aid demonstrating everyday!
19 – 1 July: A25 Bletchingley Rd, Godstone, RH9 8NS. Protests throughout the run: 07885 774 759
14 – 2 Sept: Southend Road B1013, Nr Airport opposite the Anne Boleyn pub, Rochford, Southend, Essex, SS4 1HU. Demos on 14th & 20th 2011 details
4 – 16: Essex Regiment Way, Nabbots Roundabout, Chelmsford CM1 7TG. Demo details.
18 – 30: Little Bushey Lane, opposite Jewish Cemetary, Bushey, Hertfordshire WD23 3TP. Demos on Saturday 22nd, from 3.30pm to 5pm, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 – 21: Northaw Rd West, Cuffley, near Potters Bar, EN6 4QZ . Demo details.
23 – Nov 4: Bonzar Boot Fair Site, Whalebone Lane North, Nr Moby Dick, Romford, Essex, RM6 6RB. Campaign details.
The following venues were visited last season.
You may wish to contact venues to check that they no longer support cruel circuses. Feedback welcome.
7 – 19: West Sussex Showground, next to Old Barn Nursery, Worthing Rd A24, Dial Post, Worthing, RH13 8NR
21 – 3 July: A25 Bletchingley Rd, Godstone, RH9 8NS. Support possible demos with South East Animal Rights:
5 – 17 Watford: Hunton Bridge, A41, close to Exit 20, M25, WD4 8RE
19 – 24: London Road, Stanway, Colchester, CO3 5PB. Demo details: 19th, 24th & more.
26 – 7 Aug: Clacton Airfield, West Rd, Clacton, Essex, CO15 1AG. Demos 26th+31st July + 7th August
9 – 4 Sept: Southend Road B1013, Nr Airport opposite the Anne Boleyn pub, Rochford, Southend, Essex, SS4 1HU. Demo details
6 – 11: Essex Regiment Way, Nabbots Roundabout, Chelmsford CM1 7TG. 2011 Demo details.
13 – 25: Little Bushey Lane, opposite Jewish Cemetary, Bushey, Hertfordshire WD23 3TP
27 – Oct 19: Northaw Rd West, Cuffley, near Potters Bar, EN6 4QZ Demos planned.
- 2010 -
These venues may have been dropped, or we have not been informed of repeat visits. You may wish to contact them to confirm that they no longer support cruel circuses. Feedback welcome.
3 – 14: Waddington, Lincoln.
- 2009 -
18 – 29: Manby Showground, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 8UZ
3 – 7: Boot Fair Site, London Rd, Southborough Tonbridge Kent TN4 0UQ
6 – 18: Orsett Showground, Rectory Rd, Orsett, Essex
February 20 – March 4: Lincoln Showground
February 2006: Coventry dates cancelled! 2005 demo report.
March 2006: Craven Park Stadium, Preston Road, Hull.
- 2005 -
April 2005: Braintree, Essex. ‘Success for circus demo in Essex’ – report.
November 2005: Read report from demos at Chingford, London E4