Skip to content or view screen version

Campaign starts against Zippos Circus in Portsmouth

SARC | 19.08.2009 12:03 | Animal Liberation | South Coast

SARC activists were out in force today to kick start the campaign against Zippos before their show of animal abuse comes to Southsea next week.

The idea of today’s actions was very simple. Activists found out which shops in the Portsmouth area were advertising the circus with posters in their windows in exchange for tickets and asked to speak to the managers.

Activists then explained to managers across Portsmouth that they were advertising for a circus widly condemned by our friends at Animal Rights London as well as Animal Defenders International. We told them that the animals were documented being kept on vans for at least four to five hours and the circus had been exposed not letting any of the animals exercise during a whole run in one cirty during 2006.

If you see a shop in Commercial Road or Cascades now displaying the posters it either means that we could not speak to a manager, or in the case of the Florist in Cascades or the Cheap fashion shop by Wilkinson’s, that the owners simply do not care about animals. Members of the public are urged to politely inform these companies that you will not be shopping their until they remove the sick propaganda of this animal cruelty fuelled show.

SARC activists left today with the knowledge that handfuls of money off vouchers and posters had been removed from our streets. We are planning similar actions across the region to remove these posters and this circus from our City.

To join in this campaign, email and we will be able to arrange for you to help with awareness events like today’s, pickets at the circus or even just behind the scenes work over the next few weeks to leave a real impact on Zippos Circus that will make them and the seven other animal circuses in the UK seriously reconsider a trip down South.


Posters went up earlier this week advertising that Zippos Circus is to appear in Portsmouth from Tuesday 25th August until Sunday 6th September. The circus boasts a wide collection of horses and ponies which it forces to perform degrading and strenuous routines.

As we are sure most of you are aware, a circus is no place for animals no matter what the circumstances. A recent study into Zippo’s circus by Animal Defenders International (ADI) proved the ringmaster at Zippos to be a liar when he claimed that:

‘Since my circus travels mainly within the M25 these journeys are between 5 miles and 25 miles long and it is rare for journey times to be longer than one hour.’

The reality was that from the moment the horses were put into the van until the time they were unloaded during a journey from Oxford to Blacksheath in 2006, they were confined to a the back of a small truck for a time between 4 hours 15 minutes for the fastest truck and 4 hours 55 minutes for the slower one. They hardly had room to stretch their legs or exhibit any natural behaviour in that time.

The Report showed that for the most part, the Horses were kept in a tent which was 3 metres by 3 metres small and were tethered the majority of the time. In 2003, ADI reported that although Zippos did provide an exercise tent for the horses, it was not spacious and in three days of performances, none of the animals were given time to use the exercise space.

The full report can be found here:

As is obvious from the findings at Zippos, SARC have plenty of cause for concern and we need you to get active to push this vile exploitation out of our city in the next few weeks.

What can you do?

1) Do not visit animal circuses or any other ‘attractions’ which confine animals for human greed and entertainment.

2) Politely call up Zippos on 0871 210 2100, 07050 269133, or 07836 641277 and explain to them the reason why you won’t be visiting their circus and why you will be encouraging your friends and family to boycott them until they stop using animals in their act.

3) Approach shop keepers in the Portsmouth area (we know they have even been putting up posters as far afield as Fareham) and explain to them why they should remove the posters from their windows. Most of these businesses will probably have no idea about how Zippos exploits animals and many will have been given free tickets in exchange for advertising for them. Ask them to tear these up in Protest or better yet to hand them over for you to destroy.

4) Write a letter to the local media explaining your disgust and urging others to boycott the circus.

5) Attend one of our peaceful and legal demonstrations against the circus when they do come to town. All of our protests will be above board and pre organised with the police to ensure the safety of protesters and will have an important role to play in educating the public about exactly what they are paying for. To attend a protest, email and we will inform you of dates, times and meetings. Don’t worry if you have never been on a protest before, SARC activists are notoriously friendly and welcoming to anyone who likes animals, and if you are still worried, remember, your fear is nothing in comparison to the feeling the horses get when the whips are cracked and they are forced to rise up onto their hind legs in this totally alien and unnatural atmosphere.

Whatever you can do to stop this circus, do it!


PLEASE NOTE: SARC fully supports all legal and peaceful forms of protest. SARC respectfully requests that all letters, emails and phone calls made in support of our campaigns are polite.

- e-mail:
- Homepage:


Hide the following comment

Bolivia: First Country in World to Ban Circuses

19.08.2009 13:20

Bolivia has become the first country in the world to ban circuses

No Circuses