Animals in Festive Events

Every year, Animal Aid campaigns to end the unnecessary and cruel use of animals in festive events. Events involving live reindeer and other animals have become popular in recent years in the UK, with reindeer either on display in a pen, in garden centres or shopping precincts, or led along a busy street as part of a Christmas parade.

Reindeer and other live animals, such as camels and horses, are often displayed in pens or led along a busy street as part of a Christmas parade.

Reindeer are sensitive wild animals who are adapted to live in a cold climate, roaming great distances each day, foraging for lichen, herbs and other plants. They do not cope well with the stress of captivity or to being transported up and down the country to different events. These shy animals can be on display for hours on end, exposed to bright lights and noisy crowds, with nowhere to hide. These conditions can be hugely stressful and can have severe impacts on the health and welfare of these gentle creatures. 

Animal Aid are calling on event organisers to stop using live reindeer for their festivities and we are asking the public to boycott these events. As a response to our campaign in previous years, we have had many organisations, including Notcutts Garden Centres, Leeds Castle and Sevenoaks Town Council, cancelling reindeer appearances at their events, with many vowing not to have festive animal displays in the future.  

Find an event near you, that is still using live reindeer and take action:

Festive events using live reindeer

Please let us know if you hear of any other events planned in your area, that will include live reindeer, so that we can encourage the organisers to find kinder ways to celebrate Christmas. You can help by ordering an ‘Antler Action pack’. Your pack will include sample letters to send to local event organisers and the editor of your local newspaper, as well as facts about reindeer and ideas for how to have a fun and compassionate Christmas.  

Order an 'Antler Action' Pack

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