LONDON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Animal rights activists urged the public Saturday to boycott the Great British Circus to protest the return of elephants to the show.
Three elephants were scheduled to be in the ring for the evening show near Newark in Nottinghamshire, The Times of London reported. British circuses haven't used elephants for 10 years.
The elephants were brought to Britain from Germany and are believed to be seasoned performers in circuses around Europe.
"It's what people want to see," said Chris Barltrop, a spokesman for the Great British Circus. "There is a demand and that gives the lie when campaigners say that people don't want to see these things. The British public is in fact very fair-minded."
Care for the Wild International pushed for a boycott. Barbara Maas, head of the group, said the show has no education or conservation benefits, only "public entertainment for profit."
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called the elephant return "a body blow for animal welfare," The Guardian reported.