Stop the exploitation of Reindeer coming into the UK solely for Christmas

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We have all had images of Rudolph leading the reindeer to the houses of good boys and girls. Reindeer are a deep rooted image of Christmas and the festive period. “Renting” Reindeer for festive periods, culling them for their meat once Christmas is over, and the demand for their blood, is not.

This is the reality for the Reindeer being imported to the UK and all over the world, and while the are often though about during the Christmas period, they are often forgotten about soon after.
Reindeer populations are declining yet the demand for them is growing exponentially every year. The increasing call for Reindeer meat and blood has grown too with Lidl cashing in on this in previous years with their “Novelty” Reindeer burgers during this season.

These exploits have resulted in an increased demand for Reindeer products and so, farming these beautiful and timid animals has increased too. This doesn’t just affect the Reindeer though. Their natural predators are being shot to protect the Reindeer so wolf and bear numbers are declining in the areas housing Reindeer.

Reindeer are seen as four legged cash machines — and are used as a source of income for those in the meat industry but they are also marketable as an unneeded attraction. Every year hundreds of reindeer are rented out to shopping centres, grottos, sleigh rides and garden centres as a Christmas prop to attract business. According to Cindy Murdoch, a board member of the Reindeer Owners and Breeders Association, reindeer rental owners are fully booked around Christmas and from our own research it appears that the price of renting a pair of reindeer can be as high as £995.

In a Reindeer natural habitat, they are able to roam up to 3000 miles a year but when they are imported, they are kept in small pens with not enough ground to cover than is needed or required.

Reindeer are also exploited in other countries too. In Russia, Pantocrin is a sought after substance which is found in Rendeer antlers. The problem with this is that the antlers start to calcify once shed and the product is no longer useful.

As a result, Rendeer antlers are forcefully and surgically removed to stop this process. Pantocrin is used for anti aging, treating arthritis and sexual performance drugs.

The way the antlers are harvested are truly shocking and harrowing. They are forced into cutting chambers where they are suspended and their antlers removed. They are not sedated for this procedure and will feel every bit of pain while someone stands on the back of their heads while removing the tool they use for finding food, mating and protection.

Please don’t forget these beautiful creatures once the festive period is over. We can all make a change and we can all stop the cruelty and exploitation of Reindeer in the future.

Thank you x

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