THE RSPCA have urged local residents not to attend a circus featuring 'wild' animals in Sully this week.

The animal charity want people to shun Circus Mondao, saying they have "major concerns" for the welfare of animals involved.

But Petra Jackson, from Circus Mondao - which features camels and zebras - efuted any suggestions that their animals aren't properly cared for.

She said she is "annoyed" about the way in which the circus is being portrayed.

"They (the RSPCA) haven't even been down here to look at the site," she said. "If they had, they would see our animals are out grazing and being well looked after.

"We have found that the people of south Wales love an animal show and are very supportive. We have camels, reindeer and one Zebra, who is 31-years-old despite the average age of zebras being only around 15-20 years old."

"Camels are listed as domesticated animals in the UK and the one 'wild' animal we have is the zebra which has had a very good life with us.

"We are licensed and inspected by the government and if anything was not up to standard we wouldn't have this licence.

"What is being said about us is wrong. We would encourage people to come and have a look round as we have nothing to hide."

The circus has an official licence with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on which the number and species of animal used are listed.

But the RSPCA’s senior scientific officer, specialising in circus animal welfare, Ros Clubb, said the charity's concerns about wild animals in travelling shows are shared by a "huge number" of others in Wales.

He said: "The complex needs of wild animals can never be adequately met in a circus environment with regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance all unavoidable realities for the animals.

“Last year the people of Wales cried out against the presence of wild animals in circuses and are certain to be sad to see them return this year.

“Circuses will only continue to use wild animals in circuses if the public continue to pay to see them.

"We are urging members of the public to vote with their feet and give this circus that uses wild animals a miss when it arrives in the Vale of Glamorgan area this week.

Mr Clubb added: “Placing an animal in surroundings unsuitable for the species can cause serious stress and behavioural problems.”