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Naxxar locals give animal circus the thumbs down

Residents are worried a circus would impact their health. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Residents are worried a circus would impact their health. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Naxxar residents are up in arms and petitioning to have a planned animal circus relocated out of their locality.

At least 70 residents of St Paul, Garden, Ship Wreck, Jesuits and Marquis Ġużeppi Scicluna streets, including Labour MEP Edward Scicluna, have signed a petition that is being sent to the local council and the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (Mepa).

Victor Fenech, speaking on behalf of the residents, claimed there were a number of health issues that needed to be considered.

“We found out that 90 animals are used in the shows, including tigers, zebras, camels, llamas and crocodiles.

“Can someone please tell me how they are going to retain the urine and excretions from 90 animals from seeping into the soil and safeguard our families after they leave the area?” he asked.

The circus will be situated in a field bordering St Paul Street, a main road, close to the old Trade Fair grounds. The field, known as Tal-Ġiżwiti, measures approximately 10,500 square metres.

A spokesman for Mepa said the authority believed the proposed site was not “considered compatible as it may cause nuisance to the surrounding residential area”.

However, the authority cannot stop the circus if there has been no objection from the local council or the police.

It has ensured that the animals are considered legal according to the EU Wild Life Trade Regulations (CITES) and has informed the circus that an inspection will be carried out at the port or the grounds once they set up. This will be to check that microchip and ring numbers correspond to the CITES certificates provided for the animals.

The Naxxar local council has not objected to the circus in the locality. However, it did not consult “us residents properly”, said Mr Fenech.

Residents only became aware that the circus was coming to town after reading about it in The Times.

“I strongly hope that the local council did not sell our health and our lives for a mere donation and a ticket to the families for a show,” Mr Fenech added.

Circo Fantasy, being brought over by Circus Events Ltd, plans to open its doors between November 8 and December 9.

The Times sought a reaction from the council and the circus but got no replies before going to print.

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