Big cat show cancelled after council refuses licence


A SHOW involving the UK’s last circus big cat show has been cancelled after council chiefs refused to give it the go ahead.


The UK’s only lion tamer Thomas Chipperfield – his big cat show has been cancelled.



Three tigers and two lions, which have spent the winter on a croft in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, were set to perform a show on a former air base on Monday.


The event has been at the centre of a huge row between animal rights activists who claim the show is a “distasteful, outdated performance” and the countries’ only lion tamer.


But just days before ‘An evening with lions and tigers’ was set to go ahead at Crimond Airfield the council refused to grant the entertainment licence.


Mr Chipperfield – will “push” to make the show go on.



Now lion tamer Thomas Chipperfield has said they will “push” to get the animals on show in Scotland.


“We are pursuing the possibility of getting the decision changed or will re apply for the license,” said Mr Chipperfield.


“We will push to show in the area. It’s very disappointing because people in the area have been so fantastic to us.”


Tickets for the show cost £6 for adults and £4 for children.


Animal rights activists have critisised the show, which they call “animal exploitation”.



In the 1950s, Thomas Chipperfield’s family owned the biggest circus in Europe with a herd of 16 elephants and more than 200 other animals from polar bears to chimps and giraffes.


Now he the only circus big cats in the UK and is coming under increasing pressure from animal rights groups to put them into sanctuaries.


The big cats have spent the winter in captivity on a croft in Aberdeenshire.



“We haven’t been banned. It was simple time scale, red tape issues,” said event co-organiser Anthony Beckwith.


“We’re looking at the application process again. We definitely want to do something up here.”


A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council confirmed the a public entertainment licence was “not granted” on Friday by the licensing board.


The council’s decision was welcomed by animal rights activists.


John Robins of Animal Concern said: “It’s nice to get good news for a change.


“Now the Scottish Government must outlaw the use of animals in circuses and consign this type of animal exploitation to the history books where it belongs.”


Event co-ordinator Anthony Beckwith insisted “We haven’t been banned. It was simple time scale, red tape issues.”



The circus claimed on its posters that the event was supported by children’s charity Cash For Kids.


The charity at first claimed it had not given its approval and asked for its name to be withdrawn.


Cash For Kids has subsequently claimed it withdrew from the event under pressure from animal rights groups.

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  1. That lion tamer belongs in a zoo, or hopefully a museum, soon. That or in Guatanamo Bay, bloody degenerate human…

  2. Let’s hope that the council reject any future applications. We as a nation of so called animal lovers will soon be one of a minority of countries that still allow this kind of animal exploitation. The list of countries that has already banned the use of wild animals this way is growing and we should be on that list.

  3. These circuses should be banned full stop. It’s outrageous that animal circuses are allowed to continue. Chipperfields are renowned for animal abuse so BAN it NOW

  4. I’d pay a months wages to watch a show that involved the lion biting off Chipperfield’s head.

  5. They belong in the wild not in cages …..time to stop all circuses and shows to stop using animals

  6. I love to see these majestic Lions and Tigers to live in a sanctuary for big cats, that is where they belong not in a circus and living in a small place all their life.
    No one has the right to rope these animals from having a life that they deserve.
    No one ever should have the right to own or captivate these wild animals.
    I demand that the show doesn’t go on.

  7. How can an ethical and progressive country such as Scotland allow the ‘keeping’ of such magnificent and rare animals, never mind the exploitation/display/ridicule of them for financial gain.
    Shame on the ‘circus’ for using a charity to try to legitimise its existence.

  8. We do not support animal abuse or training of animals for other people’s amusement .Animals belong in the wild leave them alone let them lead their lives .Never support these shows .

  9. they should be taken to a sanctuary, they are not meant to live such a horrendous life, they need to be roaming free in a sanctuary with other lions and tigers.

  10. There’s a petition to ask Holyrood to ban these
    “performances” feel free to go onto my Facebook
    profile to sign/share it, it’s public. Thanks

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