ANIMAL rights activists have failed to close down the famous Zippos Circus.
They targeted local councillors with a petition claiming it was cruel to have animals in circuses but were turned down flat.
It will return to Brighton, UK, in 2018, after councillors at Brighton and Hove City Council ignored their pleas.
A petition was submitted to the council earlier this year by local protestor and retired school teacher Sue Baumgardt, 71.
Martin ‘Zippo’ Burton, the founder and director of Zippos Circus, said: “Zippos Circus has been appearing on Hove Lawns for many years.
“We welcome constructive criticism and are always seeking to improve.
“The petition was created and supported by a minority of very vocal animal rights supporters who are opposed to the use of animals in everything from food to clothing (wool and leather) and even protest outside British Heart Foundation shops.
“The petition is based on moral, not welfare, grounds and its supporters aggressively seek to impose their extreme political agenda on everyone.
“They are not representative of the tens of thousands of people who have visited us and derived much pleasure from doing so.”
The petition which was submitted to the Brighton and Hove City Council’s tourism development and culture committee in April, called for a ban on all performing circus animals.
But Zippo Circus was quick to fight back, submitting an executive report, which underlined the appropriate animal husbandry and satisfactory standards of animal welfare.
It also stated that circus animals are extremely well cared for and exceed all minimum criteria for welfare standards.
Soon after Zippos’ report, local authority officers concluded that any ban imposed by animal rights activists would be immediately vulnerable to a legal challenge.