One Foot in the Grave actress Annette Crosbie has called on the Scottish Government to intervene over lions and tigers being kept in cages in Fraserburgh.
Ms Crosbie, who is a supporter of Animal Defenders International's Stop Circus Suffering campaign has entered the debate as protesters get ready to stage a demonstration on Sunday against the cats being kept in captivity.
She said: "It is shameful that lions and tigers are being kept on the back of a circus lorry on the exposed north east coast.
"These magnificent wild animals should not endure such dreadful conditions in the name of entertainment.
"And I hope that the Scottish Government brings in a ban on wild animals in circuses swiftly, so that these animals do not continue to suffer.”
Ms Crosbie's intervention was welcomed by Jan Creamer, the president of ADI, which is campaigning for a ban on animals being used in circuses.
“We are very glad that Annette Crosbie is joining local people and politicians in speaking out and protesting against the suffering of these animals," Ms Creamer said.
"Animal circuses have had their day and it should no longer be permitted to keep lions and tigers like this and subject them to a life of performance.
"The world has moved on and Animal Defenders International urges the Scottish government to take action to prohibit the use of wild animals in circuses”.
The lions and tigers are owned by Thomas Chipperfield, whose family have been involved with circuses for hundreds of years.
But, although he wrote in The Times on Tuesday about how much he cared for the creatures in his care, political pressure is growing for action to be taken to outlaw such practices in circuses.
Kevin Stewart, the SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, is among those who have been shocked by the story.
"Aberdeenshire Council claims that everything is above board and I have no reason to doubt them," said Mr Stewart.
"Unfortunately, the legislation we have on such matters is outdated."
ADI's protest takes place at Circus High School in Inverallochy, near Fraserburgh, on Sunday from 11am to 3pm.
STV Aberdeen understands members from other protest groups might travel to the north east to add support for the demonstration.