6th December 2019

Pubs around the UK are using live reindeer and other animals at festive events in the run up to Christmas. The reindeer are used to entertain visitors as part of ‘Santa’s grotto’ displays or used for photographs with paying visitors.

At Freedom for Animals we are used to seeing the wide range of venues these animals are taken to, from shopping centres to city high streets, as part of our campaign to end animals used for festive events. But when we are now seeing animals being taken to pubs and bars, we can’t help but be even more concerned. Aside from the garden of a pub being a completely unsuitable environment for a semi-wild animal, these reindeer will be exposed to people under the influence of alcohol.

We have revealed how animals in zoos are impacted by loud noises and drunken visitors at ‘after-hours’ events and parties. Animals have had alcohol poured on them, been taunted by guests and have shown signs of stress from loud music.

Reindeer are sensitive animals who would naturally spend their day roaming in herds throughout the Arctic tundra. 

Dr John Fletcher, founder of the Veterinary Reindeer Society said

"Reindeer have adapted to live in the Arctic. They are not well able to cope with the stress of captivity, and most of the diseases we see here in reindeer are stress-related.”

We are calling on event organisers to cancel these cruel events and are urging the public to avoid any events that uses live animals for entertainment. There are many ways to enjoy the festive season without exploiting animals.

Freedom for Animals Campaigner, Laura Tomlinson stated,

“With a ban on wild animal circuses about to come into force in England in just a matter of weeks, it is hard to understand why it is seen as any different to use reindeer in this way. Not only do reindeer have to travel long distances to these events, to make things worse these events are being held in venues were typically loud noise, music and of course people under the influence of alcohol.” 

Using animals in this way sends a message that animals can be used as props, rather than living beings. Indeed, many events which have used live animals in the past have now chosen to go ‘animal-free’ in response to public concerns regarding animal welfare.

Take Action!

Use the map below to contact the event organisers today and ask them to cancel this cruel event. Let them know you will no longer support their business while they continue to exploit animals for entertainment.

Click on an event and see the details for each pub!

SEE a template letter here for what to say

Also - contact us if you know of any pubs in your area using live animals this Christmas!