Animal welfare groups have called for a complete ban on animals in entertainment acts ahead of the arrival of the Great Moscow Circus on a six-month visit to Hong Kong. The show, announced yesterday, will feature 'rare Siberian white tiger Serina' and 'beautiful Bengal tiger Duchess'. Other animals in the shows, which begin on December 12, include horses and 'hilarious soccer-playing dogs'. Jill Robinson, founder of the Animals Asia Foundation, said she had seen the Moscow Circus animals when they came here three years ago and they had seemed well cared for. However, she said circus acts carried two issues - safety and animal cruelty. 'Circuses can never replicate an animal's life in the wild. Whichever way you argue it, it's cruel,' she said, calling for a ban on animal entertainment acts. She said wild animal acts were outdated, and banned in countries such as Singapore and India. 'However well these animals are treated, the confinement in small enclosures between their few minutes in the ring and the long distances travelled cannot be called humane,' she added. The Moscow Circus is coming to Hong Kong from Spain. The show's presenter, Michael Coad, chief executive of Worldwide Entertainment, said all conditions set by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department would be met. On the call for a ban on live animal acts, he said: 'It's a point of view of a minority of people in Hong Kong. The Moscow Circus is the most popular family entertainment here: 300,000 people came last time.' The circus will be staged in eight locations including Wan Chai, Hunghom and Causeway Bay during its 27-week run. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also backs a total ban on circus animals. 'The Moscow circus always maintains their animals are well treated, but that's not the point,' a spokesman said. 'There is so much animal abuse in China such as feeding live animals to tigers for 'entertainment' that we think Hong Kong should make a stand by banning wild animal acts here.' An AFCD spokeswoman said the circus site would be inspected to ensure that safety and animal welfare conditions were met.