David Barratt (Aug 26) completely misses the point when he talks of the Great British Circus'

animals being “in reasonable condition”.

It's not how they appear, but the fact they are cooped up in small enclosures and on the road for most of the year.

Has he not seen the video footage of the poor elephants being beaten in this circus? Please do not be fooled into thinking this is a one-off.

As for animals living longer in captivity, elephants actually have shorter lifespans in captivity.

Mr Barratt would also have us believe circus animals would all end up as rugs on people’s floors if they were not locked up in a circus.

No animal would choose to be abused in a circus, rather than be able to live their life as nature intended in the wild.

Animal circuses serve no conservation or educational purpose whatsoever – they exist purely to entertain people who should know better.

Sandra Clark
Holland Road

...David Lesley asked the motives for filming elephant abuse.

We wonder why Animal Defenders International did not inform the circus.

In May we discovered the groom had been behaving inappropriately and he was dismissed.

However, some four months later they went to the press.

Had it not been for our vigilance, the abuse could have been continuing.

We have asked Animal Defenders International for the full video.

We will then be able to investigate the full facts, as opposed to the edited highlights.

Martin Lacey
Great British Circus