Nor­we­gian school hit af­ter kids see rein­deer slaugh­tered

Houston Chronicle - - WORLD -

OSLO, Nor­way — A preschool in Arc­tic Nor­way is fac­ing on­line crit­i­cism for tak­ing 5-year-old chil­dren on an out­ing to view the slaugh­ter and skin­ning of rein­deer at a nearby farm.

The crit­i­cism erupted on Face­book af­ter the school posted pho­tos of eight chil­dren look­ing at rein­deers, a culled an­i­mal hang­ing above a blood pool, a child drag­ging blood­ied skins in the snow and snow­suit­clad chil­dren toss­ing car­cass bits into a con­tainer.

Dag Olav Stoe­lan, head of the Granstubben Barne­hage preschool, says Tues­day’s day trip was de­signed to teach the chil­dren about the in­dige­nous Sami who live in north­ern Nor­way and are of­ten in­volved in rein­deer herd­ing.

“It is im­por­tant to show where the meat comes from,” he said, adding, “We will do it again.”

The preschool has had pre­vi­ous out­ings to see pigs be­ing slaugh­tered at other nearby farms.

Stoe­lan said once par­ents had agreed to let their chil­dren par­tic­i­pate, preschool em­ploy­ees talked to the chil­dren about the farm be­fore and af­ter the out­ing. Teacher Therese Johnsen said none of the chil­dren had re­acted neg­a­tively.

Neg­a­tive re­ac­tions, how­ever, did come on the school’s Face­book wall, where some peo­ple wrote that “the kinder­garten is mak­ing sure we get more psy­chopaths among us” and “peo­ple who are killing an­i­mals are not far away to killing hu­man be­ings.”

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