PROTESTERS against an animal circus in Ellesmere Port ended up in heated row with show organisers.

A small group of animal rights campaigners from Cheshire and Wirral gathered close to the circus on land next to The Rake pub, Rake Lane, during its five-day stay.

With ringside seats selling for up to £18, Circus Mondao ran from Wednesday until Sunday and featured zebras, horses, camels and llamas.

The circus says it has seven Government-registered animal trainers, but the council will not allow animal circuses on its land so Mondao had to find a private landowner who would agree to host them.

The Rake, a Greene King pub, stepped in to allow use of their land and when protesters gathered - a row erupted with pub staff.

Katherine Green, of Wirral, said: “We are a group of peaceful protesters. There’s always aggression toward protestors.

“We’re going to put a formal complaint to the brewery.”

She added: “One of the guys from the circus was spitting on the ground and swearing.

“There was a couple of younger children with us. The whole thing was unpleasant.”

A spokesman for Greene King said: “We worked closely with both the council and the circus to ensure all appropriate plans were in place before we agreed to let the circus use the land at the rear of The Rake. We recognise that animals working in a circus is an emotive subject.

“We co-operated fully with Environmental Health officers and animal welfare officers, who carried out spot checks throughout the five-day performance and all agreed the animals were well cared for.

“We are always keen to support community events which provide fun experiences for all the family and we hope that everyone who visited the circus enjoyed a great day out.

“The police were asked to investigate a minor disturbance which broke out between a small group of protesters demonstrating against the circus and staff at the pub. The matter was quickly resolved and no charges were brought against anyone involved.”