10th October 2023

All year, every year, here at Freedom for Animals we campaign to stop live animals being used as props in entertainment. As the festive season approaches, we always turn our attention to the problem of animals being used for Christmas lights switch-ons, parades, santa’s grottoes, or even just as decoration in shopping centres, markets, and garden centres. More often than not, the animals exploited in this way are reindeer.

Over the past few years we have had a growing coalition with our friends at OneKind, Animal Aid, and Born Free. We recently reported on OneKind’s new research into the welfare detriment caused by exposing reindeer to events environments, and following from this report we have signed onto an open letter with those three charities and seven more to ask local venues as well as larger public and private organisations to commit to not using reindeer this year and beyond.

Last week we sent this letter out to 225 organisations, including event organisers, NHS Trusts, care home groups, garden centres, and pub chains. In addition to this, our coalition has begun contacting Local Authorities across the UK to ask that they both adopt a policy of not hiring reindeer for council-run events, and also commit to refusing permission for reindeer to be used in other events on council-owned land.

You can help! Once again we’ve created an interactive map to allow you to find events happening near you that might be planning to exploit reindeer. You can use the map to find the contact details of event organisers and contact them directly to ask that they change their plans and host compassionate, animal-free celebrations instead.

Have you seen an event advertised that isn’t on our map? Use our reporting tool to let us know so we can contact them directly and add the event to the map.