Peta blasts town for reindeer parade
ORGANISERS of a Christmas fair have come under fire from an animal welfare campaign group for using reindeer as “holiday props”.
The annual Cowbridge Reindeer Parade has been organised by Vale of Glamorgan town chamber of trade for the past 20 years.
This year’s event takes place from noon tomorrow and will include a parade of reindeer through the town centre.
After the parade the reindeer will be on display in a pen behind the town hall.
Animal rights campaign group Peta has claimed the event “isn’t a suitable environment”.
In a letter to the chamber of trade, Peta campaigns strategist Luke Steele said: “A busy, brightly lit attraction such as the venue – packed with members of the public, including excited children – isn’t a suitable environment for shy wild animals such as reindeer. These beautiful beings belong in the Arctic and subarctic regions.
“When used as holiday props, they’re denied the opportunity to engage in natural behaviour, such as roaming freely across vast open ranges as they would in their native habitat.”
Campaigners say numerous welfare issues occur when reindeer are hired out for Christmas events. They say the stress of being moved, a poor diet and exposure to diseases often lead to health concerns for the reindeer.
Mr Steele added: “...Treating them as mere Christmas decorations is unacceptable.”
Chairman of Cowbridge Chamber of Trade Alun John said the reindeer are sourced from Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, and he is satisfied the domesticated animals are properly cared for.