8th November 2022

Every festive season here at Freedom for Animals we launch our campaign to raise awareness about the plight of live animals used as props in Christmas events. By far the most commonly used animal is the reindeer; frequently bundled into vans and trailers to endure long journeys in cramped conditions, then enclosed in small pens in busy markets and fairs or forced to parade down high streets amongst loud noises and crowds of onlookers, and often subjected to manhandling by the public.

Last year we reached out to our colleagues at OneKind Scotland, Animal Aid, and Born Free to compile an article packed with the expert opinions of charities like ourselves who oppose the use of live animals in festive events. This year we have come together again to take that message directly to the organisers of these events with a joint letter, signed by all four charities, detailing the misery of reindeer exploited at this time of year, offering alternatives to these cruel displays, and imploring the event organisers to change their plans.

We have been contacting event organisers for years as a solitary organisation, and we have had great success with this. So far this year we’ve identified dozens of venues that have used live animals for their past events but have this year confirmed that they will be holding animal-free celebrations. Sadly, some event organisers have not yet got the message and continue to exploit reindeer.

We hope that our joint letter from four organisations, with thousands of supporters between us, will help them understand that the public don’t want to see animals penned in, stressed, and scared. 

OneKind spearheaded this action and got the ball rolling by sending our joint letter out to 14 events in Scotland. We are now taking the next steps by rolling the letter out nationwide to over 50 more event organisers over the next couple of weeks. You can join the action by emailing events yourself. Head to our events map where you will find exploitative events marked in red with the organisers’ email address available for you to send your complaints. While you’re there, check out the many events marked in green which are compassionate, animal-free events!

We’re immensely proud to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our colleagues at OneKind, Animal Aid, and Born Free this year, and to continue to represent our supporters in fighting for liberation for all animals.

- 8th November 2022