Save the Reindeer! (Ilkeston Food and Drink Christmas Market)
This petition had 1,795 supporters
In December, reindeer will be transported to the Ilkeston to provide live entertainment at the Ilkeston Food and Drink Christmas Market. We believe that the Christmas season should be one of joy and peace for all. We feel that there are many other ways that local residents could celebrate this Christmas without compromising the wellbeing of animals.
Christmas should be a time where compassion is shown towards all beings, yet animals are transported all over the country at Christmas for events at shopping centres and noisy displays. It is widely accepted that animals suffer stress during events such as the Ilkeston Food and Drink Christmas Market. The public have spoken out against such events as many feel that these events are an inappropriate place for animals.
The Government-appointed Farm Animal Welfare Committee has stated that: “reindeer have been imported and kept in small zoological collections or open farms where they are used as a visitor attraction, particularly at Christmas. There have been a number of reports of ill thrift and death in these animals due to poor management and their special dietary and environmental requirements.”
Dr. John Fletcher from the Veterinary Deer Society is reported as saying: “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 … We would like Defra to stop importing them.”
What harm is caused?
Animals, such as reindeer, used in seasonal displays, are forced into close contact with the public, which leaves them stressed and afraid. Reindeer are not domestic animals, and their instincts remain very much intact in captivity. Contact with people is something they normally avoid.
When used as "props", they are denied the opportunity to engage in natural behaviour and roam freely over vast open ranges, as they would in their natural circumpolar habitat.
Travelling animal displays also contribute to a cruel cycle of breeding, abandonment and killing. Exhibitors take young animals on the road and, if they survive the stress of transport and handling, typically dispose of them when they become more difficult to handle, replacing them with new animals. Every year, sanctuaries have to turn away requests to house large animals.
Please sign this petition to show your support in helping to save these beautiful animals from this stressful ordeal.
Interesting links for further reading
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Captive Animals Protective Society (CAPS)
Born Free Foundation
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