A circus has refuted claims it is cruel to animals.

Circus Mondao, which includes horses, zebras and pygmy goats in its act, opened in Silsden yesterday and is due to carry out its last performance on Sunday.

It strongly denies claims from a national campaign group that circus animals are badly treated.

Petra Jackson, PR manager and ring-mistress for Lincolnshire-based Circus Mondao, said it had nothing to hide and invited people to look for themselves.

Their animals, which also include two newly bought camels, have spent the week grazing on the former gala field on Keighley Road.

A star of the show is a Welsh stallion - which this week grazed happily and contentedly with a number of other stallions owned by the circus.

Miss Jackson said: "A lot of these animal rights people aren't animal people. They say it's not natural for horses to be transported around, but a lot of horses spend a great deal of time in a horse box."

She said their horses and ponies were doing what came naturally and added it was no worse than dressage.

But the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), a national organisation which campaigns for the ban of the use of all animals in circuses, is calling on people to boycott the event.