Animals used as festive decorations

Each year as Christmas approaches, event organisers around the country begin to advertise live reindeer parades and shows. Often held in shopping centres, these animals are transported up and down the country to be placed in small pens under glaring lights, surrounded by people and noise for days on end. 

And it’s not just reindeer. Penguins, owls and other wild animals are used as props for human entertainment.

Long hours on the road

Transported between venues, back and forth to the company premises, animals must spend many hours on the road int he back of a van or trailer. One company in Scotland even travels as far as Cornwall in the south of England for events, a distance of nearly 700 miles. 

Long journeys in cramped conditions is known to cause stress and lowers welfare. 

Animals lives at risk

In a state of panic, reindeer will run to protect themselves. A number of reindeer have escaped from their pens at festive events and have been found wandering high streets and in car parks. Highly stressed they are at danger of being hit by cars on busy roads. 

Animals ill and dying

Animals are dying as they are not being not being properly looked after. Reindeer need a very special diet and to be housed in the right environment - they can't just live in a barn with hay.

A formal report by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) in July 2013 stated:

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... they are particularly likely to be kept by inexperienced owners for commercial reasons.

What are Freedom for Animals doing

We support protests at festive events spreading the word about animal exploitation

We educate the public about animal exploitation by speaking up for animals in the media, online and in person

We lobby Government and councils to ban the use of animals

We investigate and expose animal suppliers ensuring we have evidence to speak up for animals

Take Action!

Find out how you can take action for these animals in our Take Action centre.