Posted on the 12th October 2022

Once again Animal Aid is calling on all event organisers to celebrate Christmas without the unnecessary use of live animals.

For reindeer and other animals displayed in a pen or used to pull Santa’s sleigh, being forced to take part in festive celebrations can be hugely stressful with severe health and welfare impacts.  

Reindeer are shy herd animals, adapted to roam great distances each day, foraging for lichen, herbs and other plants. They do not cope well with captivity or being transported around the country to appear in festive events at various locations. Animal Aid’s undercover investigations at several reindeer farms, in 2018 revealed appalling suffering behind the scenes, including sick animals and deliberate abuse.  

During the summer Animal Aid contacted more than 400 local authorities in the UK and nearly 400 event organisers. We informed them of the health and welfare impacts that busy Christmas events can have on animals and urged each one to choose festive events which do not use live animals.  

Many have responded to confirm they will not use live animals this year. However, we are already hearing about numerous events that are planning to exploit animals in the name of ‘entertainment.’ 

Tell Animal Aid if you hear of Christmas Events planning to use live animals

Calling All Local Groups 

Animal Aid are looking for local groups from all around the UK to become reindeer champions to campaign against festive events using live animals in your area.  

How much you do is up to you! Depending on the size of your group and how much time you have, you could do anything from asking your members to email local event organisers to organising a demonstration at a confirmed event. If this is something your group is happy to help with, please contact [email protected] for more information.  


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