ANIMAL rights campaigners are calling for people to boycott a circus arriving in Chesham this week because of the condition of one of its animals.

The Bobby Roberts Super Circus arrives in town on Tuesday, along with 55-year-old elephant Anne – the last elephant in Britain to be touring with a circus.

But the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, which opposes the use of animals in circuses, said it was concerned she was being transported in an articulated wagon, as the animal suffers from arthritis.

Anne, who was bought by the circus when she was five years old, no longer performs, but still travels with the rest of the acts so people can have their photograph taken with her.

Paul Thomas of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society said: “She’s around her end-of-living age.

“We say let her retire in dignity. We’ll take her in, no problem whatsoever.

“We are not opposed to circuses at all – we promote animal-free circuses. But to see animals in a ring – in this day and age we don’t see what people get from this sort of thing. It belongs in a Victorian era.

“There’s no reason for her to be transported around in the back of an articulated wagon.”

A statement from Bobby Roberts said: “Anne has the best possible veterinary care for the mild arthritis which affects her hind right leg, and our vets have assured us she is not in any pain or distress.

“Our doors have always been and always will be open to RSPCA inspectors who call without notice and have always found our animals to be in good condition.”

The circus will be at Nashleigh Hill recreation ground from Tuesday until Sunday.