I FEEL I must respond to the letters on animal rights protesters at the circus, Guardian, September 27.

Paula Whitehead states she feels that animal rights protesters should find other things to do with their time instead of complaining at what is in her opinion good entertainment.

About 15 years ago I took my young daughter to a circus at Victoria Park which had tigers, horses etc and have now come to realise how naïve I was at the time.

I am not an animal rights protester but I can completely understand why they protest against the cruel use of live animals in performing circuses.

We all have a duty to see that animals are treated humanely. It is not good enough to say that the animals are well fed and cared for.

What of the elephants being hit with iron bars and chained up for hours and then made to perform when the circus wants them to and more than once in a day.?

If you have ever watched, as I have, an elephant when it bolts out of control, gores people and damages property because it has reached breaking point through being made to do things repetitively day and night. If it were in a natural habitat it would certainly not be doing what it is made to do in a circus.The clowns and acrobats do their stunts by choice, animals don’t have that choice.

It is very easy to forget when we see animals doing things that we would not usually expect to see them doing, just as I did 15 years ago. But we must never forget that they are animals.

There is no difference between watching circus animals and watching a bull fight, except in a circus the animals are not killed, it is their spirit that is destroyed.