A COMPANY supplying animals to the entertainment industry says it has done nothing illegal providing four lions to a Japanese circus.

Amazing Animals at Chipping Norton came under fire from animal rights campaigners and the national media for supplying four white lions to the travelling Circus Kinoshita.

However, owner Jim Clubb said no laws had been broken as long as the Five Freedoms had been met in line with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He said the Japanese show travels “four to five times” each year, pointing out the lions were neither rare nor an endangered species.

Amazing Animals had been supplied with the lions by West Midland Safari Park based in Bewdley, Worcestershire.

Director Bob Lawrence said had he known they would end up in the Japanese circus he would not have let them leave the safari park.

The safari park is now being investigated by trade association, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and faces action if found to have broken the terms of its membership.

Captive Animals’ Protection Service and Lion Aid, which carried out an investigation into where the lions came from, called it “a shocking betrayal of both the animals and the public”.

On the website for the Japanese circus it said four of the lions it used in its Miracle White Lions Wild Animal Act had been “born at a zoo in the UK”.

It said they grew in a “training facility of the United Kingdom from six months of age”.

Mr Clubb, though, said he feared the whole affair was an animal-rights inspired campaign by organisations which had “very radical agendas”.

“Animal rights has a very different agenda to animal welfare, and I am greatly concerned that mainstream media provide the former with this type of platform.”

He added they had very high animal welfare standards on site.