Take Action: Get Cruelty Out of Santa’s Grotto
Every year, timid wild animals such as penguins and reindeer are hired out, transported to the middle of some of Britain’s busiest shopping areas, yoked to sleighs, surrounded by music and bewildering flashing lights, and put on display, often for hours on end.
Christmas grottos and winter-wonderland attractions that use live animals go completely against the festive spirit of the season. Animals are not props and shouldn’t be exploited for our entertainment.
In the wild, reindeer live in herds and roam freely over vast open ranges. When they’re kept in captivity, they can’t engage in this natural behaviour and their welfare inevitably suffers. As Dr John Fletcher, founder of the Veterinary Reindeer Society, said:
“Reindeer have adapted to live in the Arctic. They are not well able to cope with the stress of captivity, and most of the diseases we see here in reindeer are stress-related”.
Many reindeer imported into the UK die after a few months, because they’re unable to survive in the warmer British climate. They’re also liable to develop parasites that rarely occur in the wild.
Help us keep reindeer and other animals out of Christmas displays.
We’ve been contacting councils and event organisers up and down the country asking that they implement policies against live-animal displays. You can help.
- Keep an eye out for any events in your local area that plan to feature live animals.
- If you find any events, please write to the organisers and ask them to rethink their plans. Here’s a template letter that you can use for inspiration.
- Let us know about the event, too, by e-mailing [email protected].
- Stay away from the event, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Let’s make Christmas magical for children and animals this year.