WAYNESVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) The Jordan World Circus is opening its doors to Haywood County residents Tuesday night - though not all are excited about its presence.
A group of animal rights advocates said they have planned a protest of the circus, that's held at the Haywood County Fairgrounds. They say they're concerned over the circus' use of exotic animals.
The circus, however, says they're in compliance with regulations and requirements.
In response to the protest, the circus issued the following statement:
Exotic animal exhibitors are required by USDA-APHIS regulation, to be inspected by an accredited veterinarian and issued a health certificate every 30 days to monitor and ensure the overall health and well being of the animals. The USDA-APHIS performs unannounced inspections, year round, on licensed animal exhibitors, either on tour or at their home facilities, to ensure that the exhibitors are following the AWA (Animal Welfare Act). USDA-APHIS and the Wildlife Departments of several states take complaints against animal exhibitors very serious and they thoroughly investigate any allegations made against an animal exhibitor. lf an exhibitor does not pass an inspection, their license may be suspended and/or revoked. The USDA-APHIS also has the authority to confiscate animals if necessary.
The circus is scheduled to take place from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday. The protest will be held the hour before.