19th December 2023

Freedom for Animals’ supporters may remember our recent campaign action, where we asked you to contact Novikov Restaurant & Bar, the organisers of Mayfair’s Christmas Market. We asked you to join us in asking that they cancel their plans to enclose live reindeer as an attraction at an event that we predicted would be busy, loud, and distressing for the animals.

459 supporters contacted the restaurant using our online form, however, disgustingly, the restaurant ignored every one of them. Novikov Restaurant & Bar disregarded the research they had been shown proving that reindeer often suffer when used for events, and paid no attention to hundreds of worried members of the public speaking out for innocent animals. On 25th of November, the event went ahead, and reindeer were exploited. At Freedom for Animals, we weren’t going to let them get away with it.

We sent undercover investigators, posing as market-goers, to collect evidence at the event. Equipped with cameras and a decibel reader, these dedicated individuals gathered evidence of precisely what the defenceless reindeer were subjected to, and we showed that evidence to qualified veterinarian Dr Emma Milne BVSc FRCVS, and this is what she said:

If your browser settings are preventing the embedded video from showing, you can watch it on YouTube here.

The veterinarian we consulted told us that the video evidence showed that:

  • The reindeer were in an environment that is constantly very loud. Investigators measured the decibel level throughout the day and readings never dropped below 60db, and reached heights of 110db. 110db is equivalent to the noise of a chainsaw.

  • The enclosure is very small and barren. The reindeer have nowhere with adequate bedding to give them opportunity to lay down.

  • One reindeer has an apparent issue with a hind limb, showing signs of discomfort. Standing still for hours on end can cause muscular and skeletal problems

    • The reindeer have no freedom of choice or ability to remove themselves from the environment or find a more comfortable area. Lack of agency has been identified as a cause of significant stress for animals used in events

    • This experience has zero benefits for the animals involved.

    The reindeer hire industry is one that seeks to profit from the exploitation of animals, exposing them to distressing conditions to make money from using them as props and photo ops.

    Freedom for Animals stands against this abuse, but we need your help!

    Speak out against the organisers of this event and others! Use our interactive map to find events in your area and beyond that have hired live reindeer this year, and use the contact details provided to complain to them. 

    Boycott not only the events but the venues - all year round. And let them know you’re doing it!

    Join local grassroots activists in delivering the message to businesses: we oppose animal exploitation and the businesses that support it! Contact us to be put in touch with activists near you!