A sizeable crowd yesterday afternoon gathered at City Gate, in Valletta, for the symbolic protest march to Floriana against animal cruelty on the day the Circo Martin show opened.
Stationed at the Granaries in Floriana, the animal circus will be running until 2 January.
Members of the Circus Animal Rights Coalition, made up of more than 20 animal rights and welfare organisations, launched their campaign, which has become annual, over a week ago.
In a statement, the coalition voiced dismay that the company which brings an animal circus over every year, JS Productions, repeatedly fails to listen to the opinion of the Maltese public, the majority of whom are against the exploitation of animals in circuses. The company continuously turns a blind eye to criticism and has no consideration for the animals which are permanently confined in awful conditions.
With tickets for the circus in Floriana selling at €10 for adults and €5 for children, the coalition is hoping that authorities will take note of their protests and refrain from allowing more circuses to perform in Malta.
Tigers, lions, horses and parrots are among the animals performing at the circus.
The coalition has welcomed the latest plans to establish a permanent animal-free circus in Malta that would promote artistic performance rather than, in its opinion, acts of cruelty.
The Circus Animal Rights Coalition was set up to raise awareness of the fact that behind the beautiful facade of the circus lies a cruel world of untold animal suffering. Animals used in circuses are unwilling participants in a show that jeopardises their health and psychological wellbeing.
“Circuses often put animals through painful and punitive methods to perform tricks which are contradictory to their natural instincts and behaviour,” it said.