LETTER: Three cheers to centre for cancelling reindeer

Three cheers to Vicar Lane Shopping Centre in Chesterfield for cancelling plans to host live reindeer this weekend.

Monday, 5th December 2016, 1:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:40 pm

No matter how unique we wish our Christmas celebrations to be, we must resist any temptation to pretend that these animals are not sentient – indeed, highly sensitive – individuals who are confused and frightened when herded on and off lorries, subjected to travel and corralled at noisy events. Reindeer are not highly domesticated, and their instincts remain very much intact in captivity.

Being forced into close quarters with human strangers causes them terrible stress.

Reindeer can also get spooked and bolt, posing a danger to both themselves and the people around them.

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Fortunately, as public awareness about animal welfare grows, people are speaking out against these ill-conceived events, and organisers such as those in Chesterfield, are cancelling them all around the country and opting instead for some of the many other ways to bring festive cheer that don’t compromise the well-being of animals or put the public at risk.

Jennifer White

Assistant press officer,