I've just heard about an even being held at the National Ice Centre on 21-23 December which includes live reindeer being there to be fed and petted by visitors.
There are serious welfare issues for reindeer being used in this way and it seems odd that the council allows events like this to happen yet, rightly, does not allow live animals in circuses performing on its land.
As a result I have written to my local councillors about the issue and I suggest that you do likewise. The text of my email is below and includes relevant links for information.
"I am writing to you with serious concern about the planned even at the
NIC featuring reindeer being available to 'pet and feed' 21-23 December
There are serious concerns for the welfare of reindeer taking part in
events where crowds, noise and physical contact will be inevitable.
These animals are simply not used to such conditions
It also seems odd that, while NCC refuses to allow live animals to
perform in circuses held on council land yet it allows reindeer to be
used in such a way, when the likelihood of stressful encounters from
crowds is so much greater. Furthermore, escapes from festive events is
This raises issues of possible injury to both the reindeer and the
public in such a built up area.
I ask that you urgently raise this issue within the council and/or other
authorities as appropriate with a view to stopping the reindeer to be
put at risk in this way. I also ask that, at the earliest opportunity,
you initiate discussion within the council to deal with the issue of
reindeer at festive events as part of the council's animal welfare policies.
Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing back from you"
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