HAVING just returned from a visit to Gifford's Circus at Minchinhampton common I was rather surprised to read the article by Ian Craig re animal welfare at this circus.

Predictably the "Animal rights lobby" and their dull and joyless view of life took centre stage in your article.

Firstly I have doubts if any of the antis had taken the time and trouble to visit the circus and watch a show.

If they had, it would have been patently obvious to them, that the horses were in superb condition and seemed to thoroughly enjoy their work and the collie (rescued from an urban flat) was having the time of its life and keeping its intelligent brain occupied with the show routine.

In complete contrast to the exploitation of animals suggested in the CAPS view, the animals at work in Giffords Circus were both well kept and treated with tremendous respect by their owners.

As for Mr Clifton Brown the local MP, I would have thought that he would at least, been complimentary, not to say encouraging to an organisation such as Gifford's Circus, which employs a number of people and gives joy, laughter and pleasure to thousands, emotions which the policies of his Government, are having a very dampening effect upon.

A SMITH Badminton