For reindeer across the country Christmas means long hours surrounded by noisy crowds, but this year Wokingham Winter Carnival played host to an animal-friendly alternative. ‘Jingle’ is a life-size reindeer puppet created by Creature Encounter and offers a festive and kind substitute to real reindeer that both adults and children can enjoy without harming any animals.

Jingle the puppet reindeer

Before the public attend live reindeer events such as parades, Santa grottos and Christmas light switch-ons, reindeer are transported miles and experience radical mistreatment – underfed and living in overcrowded pens, they often experience various health issues. The last thing they deserve after suffering this ordeal is to be paraded around like props and stood in small pens all day surrounded by loud crowds, flashing lights and reaching hands.

Fortunately, following campaigning from Freedom for Animals, the public and an expose by Animal Aid showing how the reindeer are treated, at least twenty live reindeer events have been cancelled throughout the UK, with more events choosing the ethical route each day.

Here are just some of the companies who have ceased live reindeer entertainment: 

  • Blue Reef Aquarium, Hastings, East Sussex
  • White Rose Shopping Centre, Leeds
  • Notcutts, across eight stores
  • Thurrock Garden Centre, Essex
  • Sevenoaks Town Council, Kent
  • Experience Guildford, Surrey
  • Leeds Castle, Kent
  • Champneys' Eastwell Manor, Kent
  • Reindeer Day, Braintree
  • Doncaster Lights, Doncaster

With these achievements it’s hopeful that other events will be cancelled in the future and perhaps replaced with other puppets like Jingle, so that everyone, especially reindeer, can enjoy Christmas how they’re supposed to.

Public outrage and footage of the shocking treatment led to the cancellation of these events. To help prevent the suffering of reindeer please report any events in your area using animals throughout the festive season.