In a Covington Flash comes news that Britain's Circus Ginnett, run by the Austin Family, with a performing history in European rings reaching back over two hundred years, has folded its tent for good.
The reason: Costly and time-consuming new licensing government regulations as well as pending bans on "some animals in circuses." Said Liza Austin, co operator with her husband Mike, to The London Daily Telegraph, "It just isn't worth it anymore. We're going to France and Italy to find work. They are more appreciative of circuses there."
And how ironic is that? The circus as we know it was founded in London! Tis also true, kids, that for well over a century, a Brit version of PETA has been at work, out to liberate the menagerie back to the jungle. They may prevail yet...
A pair of Ginnett brothers (originally spelled Jinnett) were giving shows in France in the 1750s.
Sounds like the big top blues extends well across the Atlantic ... Following the Second World War, 50 tenters toured the British aisles. Now the number is around 20 and shrinking.
"We work under the stupidest regulations that have ever come about," said Ginnett's ringmaster, Martin Lacey.
Amen to that.