ANIMAL rights protesters have been out in force at two circus performances in the town.

Members of the Manchester-based Captive Animals’ Protection Society, CAPS, handed out leaflets to people going into the Circus Mondao, which is taking place in Hunger Hill until Sunday.

Paul Thomas, campaigns assistant for CAPS, said: “We had about 20 people down at the circus over the course of a couple of nights and we did manage to change people’s mind about going in.

“I don’t think the circus were too happy but all we were doing is handing out leaflets and educating people that animals are being used. There are only four circuses in the country who use animals and we say that there is no place for them.”

Ringmistress Petra Jackson said the protests hadn’t affected attendances.

She said: “We are a legitimate business. People like to teach their pets to do tricks but we like to show people how intelligent our beautiful pets are. People vote with their feet and we have had packed houses for every performance so far.”