ANIMALS will not be performing at Zippos Circus when it comes to Hove seafront this summer.

This comes after a petition calling for the circus to drop its use of budgies and horses was signed by more than 5,000 people and backed by Brighton Pavilion MP, Caroline Lucas.

The petition demanded that Brighton and Hove City Council refuse to grant permission for the Circus to use its land on the Hove Lawns.

Zippos has now said its traditional circus, which is hosted in the city every year, will be replaced by a human-only show called Cirque Berserk in August.

And added it released the announcement ahead of the petition being delivered to council on January 31.

Julia Knight, the wife of Zippos Circus owner Martin Burton, said: “This is absolutely not because of the petition as it was planned anyway.

“We were against this petition as we’re against people censoring other people’s entertainment.”

She said the petition on was probably signed by people who did not live in Brighton and said the circus has “no dialogue” with the “nasty” animal-rights activists.

The show, which Zippos say was the highest grossing show at the Edinburgh Fringe, features a first of its kind five motorcycle globe of death.

Mrs Knight said the “exciting show” would be a “refreshing difference”, adding the city was “the right place for it”.

Although the next show would be human-only, Mrs Knight said she was unsure whether Zippos’ traditional circus would ever use animals in its performances in Brighton again.

Martin Burton, who is also the Cirque Berserk producer, said: “Cirque Berserk was a sensational hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 2018.

“We believe that it will be equally well received in Brighton with its strong arts and culture ethos and that our visitors will welcome something new and completely different.

“We look forward to wowing our audiences again on Hove Lawns this year”

Councillor Robins, who chairs Brighton and Hove City Council’s Tourism, Development and Culture Committee, said: “It is an entirely human circus and that means we will have no circuses using animals in Brighton and Hove.”