The Shrine Circus came to Fredericton on Monday, drawing about 4,000 spectators to the Aitken Centre. But the circus also drew another crowd of about 30 protesters who object to the use of animals in circus acts.

The protesters spent all afternoon picketing outside the centre. They want the circus to move toward using only human acts in their shows.

Wayne McKay, a local Shriner, says he doesn't mind the protesters but he says audiences want to see the animals.

"Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and they have their right to theirs," he says. "We have the people here and we do surveys and we get a 98% response. "Everyone of them is thrilled with the animals we have here."

The Shrine Club holds the circus every year as a fundraiser to help sick children in the Maritimes.