BOLTON MP Yasmin Qureshi is backing calls for a ban on the use of wild animals performing in circuses.

The Bobby Roberts Circus, which uses animals in its performances, will be in Walkden until tomorrow.

Ms Qureshi wants the Government to use its powers under the Animal Welfare Act to make a regulation banning the use of all wild animals in circuses.

The Bolton South East MP said: “I believe using wild animals to perform circus tricks is wrong.

“A recent survey on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses shows a large majority of respondents support a ban as the best option to protect the welfare of circus animals.”

In June, Ms Qureshi pledged her support to the children of class 5B at Clarendon Primary School who led an assembly highlighting the plight of Anne the elephant, who for many years performed at the Bobby Roberts Circus and has been the subject of international campaigns by animal welfare charities such as the Born Free Foundation.

This week, campaigners from the Captive Animals’ Protection Society have been holding demonstrations outside the circus in opposition to it circus keeping Anne on tour even though she no longer performs.

Circus ringmaster Simon Swash said Anne was a “family pet”, no longer performed and travelled with the circus as it was her home.

He added: “If we were just business people, she would not be with us — elephants are not cheap to keep. She is a family pet and everybody is happy that she is here.”