IT IS worrying to see the increased use of real reindeer in Christmas parades, “Santa’s grottos” and other festive activities. It is undoubtedly fun for young ones to see animals from films and storybooks 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. 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 shouldn’t 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, Animal Aid, Tonbridge