AN animal rights campaigner protesting outside Zippos Circus has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

Two other protesters are set to be questioned over the incident, including a 30-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman.

A spokeswoman from Zippos Circus said: “The arrest related to the ripping down of legally placed advertising posters.

“A video of the incident was shared with the police and so there was a subsequent arrest.”

Protesters have been demonstrating outside the circus since it arrived on Hove Lawns on August 16.

They disagree with its use of budgies and horses.

One campaigner who witnessed the arrest on Wednesday said: “One of Zippo’s acts is a budgie pushing another budgie in a car.

“I fail to understand how that can be classed as entertainment.”

She added “We had just been there holding signs and talking to people but as soon as the police got there then they were saying we ripped down a sign.

“If it was an aggressive protest I could understand it but the fact of the matter was it was peaceful.”

They say four police officers attended the scene and spoke to the protesters about the alleged criminal damage which had taken place on a previous night.

One woman was then put into a police car after refusing to give over her details to the officers.

The use of domesticated animals in Brighton circuses remains legal after last year’s proposal to ban such activities was voted down at Brighton and Hove City Council, in large part due to legal precedent.

Zippos Circus is in Hove until Tuesday.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Officers were called to Zippo Circus on Hove Lawns at 6.53pm on Wednesday, August 22, to reports of criminal damage.

“The details of a 30-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman were reported to officers in connection with an allegation of criminal damage and voluntary interviews will be arranged.

“A 23-year-old woman from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and was later released under investigation.”