That little is known about circus training is unsurprising - a magician doesn't spoil his illusions with a banal explanation. But the secrecy of the circus community has fuelled suspicion of cruelty. It's human nature to distrust those who live differently from us and to apply sinister connotations to things we don't understand.
Much animal suffering is not immediately obvious and visible. They are forced to suffer long, arduous journeys and extended periods tied up, chained or caged - with no freedom of movement. Housed in temporary, transportable accommodation, it is simply not possible for circuses to provide an appropriate environment for wild animals.
People all over the country punched the air in delight when in March, the long overdue ban on wild animals in circuses in England was announced by the Westminster government... Yet as the days and weeks go by and more details become clear, coupled with the Westminster government's refusal to commit to a deadline for a ban, our delight has rapidly turned to confusion as we cling to the tiny shred of hope that the government really do mean what they say. When the facts are presented to you, it's difficult to remain optimistic.