Animal Aid

Unhappy Christmas for Reindeer

Posted 20 November 2012

As the Christmas season approaches, reindeer are being transported up and down the country to be used as entertainment in parades, ‘Santa’s grottos’ and other festive events. Such events attract large numbers of people, and can be extremely stressful for the reindeer.

Uprooting reindeer from their natural habitat and keeping them in captivity in this way causes significant health and welfare problems, and according to research at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, is thought to be linked to the recent increase in deaths in young reindeer. These include seven reindeer who died from liver and gut flukes in Shropshire and another who died from a lung disease on a farm near Winchester. Other reindeer are captive-bred in the UK specifically to be used in seasonal events, and are typically kept in unsuitable conditions, completely different from their natural habitat.

Quite simply, these semi-wild animals are used to roaming the tundra and eating lichen, not living on farms and being paraded around shopping centres in Britain.

Please order copies of our new leaflet to distribute on the high street, or to friends, family and colleagues: info@animalaid.org.uk

Other action you can take:

  • Boycott any events involving live reindeer, and make a complaint to the organisers if you see such events advertised
  • Write to your local paper and urge others to show the same compassion

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