Reindeer should not be used as festive ‘props’

It is worrying to see the increased use of real reindeer in Christmas parades, Santa’s grottos and other festive activities.
Reindeer. Picture by Elaine WatersReindeer. Picture by Elaine Waters
Reindeer. Picture by Elaine Waters

It is undoubtedly fun for young ones to see animals from films and story books in the flesh.

However, uprooting reindeer from their natural habitat, bringing them to a life of captivity in the UK, transporting them up and down the country and subjecting them to the stress of being on public display causes reindeer significant health and welfare problems.

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Our warmer weather and the food they are forced to eat here differ enormously from the climate and diet to which they are adapted.

These magical and majestic creatures should not be used as props in garden and shopping centre displays or forced to traipse along high streets pulling a sleigh behind them.

They belong in the tundra, eating lichen and roaming the wilds in freedom.

Claudia Tarry

Campaigner for Animal Aid (