I READ with great sadness last week’s news of the three elephants – Sonja, Delhi and Wanna Manna – which were recently bought by the Great British Circus.

These magnificent creatures have been made to perform unnatural and demeaning tricks for years, one of them, Delhi, having already collapsed on more than one occasion while touring Germany.

Three years ago, the Government released a statement declaring that it would ban the use of some non-domestic animals in circuses whose welfare needs could not be satisfactorily met. This would, of course, include elephants. Yet this ban never came as the Government inexplicably did a U-turn on the subject.

This is the first time in more than a decade that an elephant has been made to perform in a British circus, aside from Anne, the arthritic elephant, who has repeatedly captured media attention as she is dragged around the country by Bobby Roberts Circus to pose for photographs after the show.

This really is a huge leap back for animal welfare in this so-called nation of animal lovers, particularly since recent polls have shown more than 80 per cent of those questioned did not agree with wild animal acts in circuses.

For more information, visit the Captive Animals’ Protection Society website at www.captiveanimals.org, and, remember, the most effective thing you can do to help these animals is to not visit animal circuses.

Sarah Bramley, Gordon Street, York.