An event taking place at the Old Arcade shopping centre in Halifax on Saturday will be using wild penguins to entertain visitors. The event, organised by Halifax BID, a local business initiative, has outraged animal lovers stating the event harks back to the days of animal circuses.

A protest has been organised by locals, to take place from 12-4pm on Saturday 22nd December outside the venue, who are outraged at the use of live animals.

Freedom for Animals have reached out to the event organisers Halifax BID, asking them to cancel the event, as have over a hundred other people since 3pm Wednesday 19th.

Campaigns Director, Nicola stated:

“We are appealing to Halifax BID to do the compassionate thing this Christmas and leave animal exploitation behind. Penguins are wild animals, not props to be wheeled around the country to entertain shoppers. So many events nationwide are providing fantastic entertainment for customers without using live animals, so why can't they do the same?”

Animal circus

Freedom for Animals have been informed that the penguins are being supplied by a company called ‘Amazing Animals’. This company trains animals to be used in the TV and film industry, as well in mobile events such as these. Freedom for Animals have gone undercover at the company premises in recent years and filmed controversial circus-style shows featuring lions and tigers. This was featured in national news in the Daily Mail and wildlife expert Chris Packham, also spoke out.

Nicola continued:

“Using wild animals in events like these is practically the same as using animals in circuses - something which has been banned in Scotland and soon to be banned across Wales and England. Animals are forced to travel to different venues to be surrounded by crowds of people purely to entertain them. This should be confined to the history books, not taking place in our town centres.”

The charity states they believe the species being put on display will possibly be Humboldt penguins, who come from warm climates in South America, not the snowy climates associated with Christmas.

Nicola continued,

“There is nothing educational about seeing a penguin in a shopping centre. We are urging our supporters to continue to contact the event organiser asking them to cancel.”

Take Action!