OUTRAGED animal lovers could boycott a travelling circus at the centre of an animal cruelty row when it comes to the borough this week.
The Bobby Roberts Super Circus comes to Leigh on Wednesday even though it is being investigated by police after video footage emerged of a 57-year-old Asian elephant, Anne, being hit up to 48 times with a pitch fork.
Since the outcry the circus has decided to allow Anne, who has been with the Bobby Roberts family for 50 years, to be re-homed.
But there have been reports that protesters will turn out in force in a bid to boycott it.
Footage of the animal being mistreated by a worker was taken earlier this year by pressure group Animal Defenders International. The worker has since fled the circus and his whereabouts it not known.
Following the release of the video footage trading standards, along with a vet, inspected the circus and have said they are happy for it to go ahead.
A statement from the circus said: “The Bobby Roberts family have viewed the footage taken by Animal Defenders at their premises and share the outrage at what appears to have taken place in their absence.
“The camera was in place for nearly three weeks and the incidents recorded appear to be isolated and at times when Mr Roberts was away.
“The actions of the employee would not have been tolerated and had they taken place in Mr Roberts’s presence they would have led to an instant dismissal.
“Mr Roberts is deeply saddened that Anne, for whom he has deep affection, and who clearly loves him, should have, in any way suffered.”
The circus will run from April 6-10 on land alongside the Greyhound Roundabout on the East Lancashire Road at Glazebury.