Saturday, 23 May 2015

Police feared for safety of spectators at big cat show

POLICE stopped a show starring the UK’s last circus big cats because of concerns about audience safety.

Lion tamer Thomas Chipperfield was due to put on a show at a former airbase in Aberdeenshire on May 4 but the local council refused to provide an entertainment licence.

It has now emerged that it was Police Scotland who objected to the granting of the licence.

The three tigers and two lions involved have spent the winter on a croft in Fraserburgh

Officers’ concerns included “lack of detail” about safety arrangements for the audience.

Police also believed – it appears incorrectly – that Mr Chipperfield’s licence to keep dangerous animals was due to expire shortly before the show.

Posters for ‘An Evening with Lions and Tigers’ at Crimond Airfield, Fraserburgh, appeared around Aberdeenshire in March advertising tickets for sale at £6 for adults and £4 for children.

The three tigers and two lions involved have spent the winter on a croft in Fraserburgh.

The show drew huge objections from animal rights groups, and a children’s charity which was supposed to receive part of the proceeds, withdrew its backing for that performance.

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