Local News

Protesters Highlight Reindeer Exploitation

Wednesday 28 November 2018

A protest against the use of reindeer at Hertford's Christmas Gala took place in Parliament Square on Friday  (23rd November).

Live reindeer are a regular attraction at the town's annual christmas event.

Protester Isabel Sigmac has started a petition on change.org in a bid to persuade the council to stop using the animals.

"There are many other ways that Hertford residents could celebrate this Christmas without compromising the wellbeing of animals" she says on the petition page. "These are semi-wild animals, having them in a busy environment, surrounded by crowds, noise and lights at festive events will cause them immense stress".

The two reindeer, named Spot and Mable, were provided by the Reindeer Hire company.

Operations and farm director Daniel Bunting defended the animals' appearance, saying the company is fully licensed and the animals well looked after. "Our team are all experienced professionals with animal management or zoology degress and qualifications". 

"The reindeer are part of our family and are much loved", he said in a written statement. 

In a statement, a town council spokesperson said "The town council takes the welfare of the reindeer very seriously. The council reviews its events programme on an annual basis, and the appearance of reindeer at the Christmas Gala is part of that discussion."

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