By Erin Kearns
A petition has been made condemning a Dundee shopping centre for its use of a live reindeer during their Christmas Lights switch on event.
Steven Wilson created the online petition, attended the event and felt it to be cruel claiming “Rudolph would not approve.” The petition has almost met its goal of 1000 signatures and is continuing to grow.
This is not the first time shopping centres have been under scrutiny for their use of reindeers with multiple petitions created over the last few years.
Animal Rights campaign charity, One Kind have backed the petition. Libby Anderson said the charity receive complaints every winter about the use of reindeer in shopping centres.
“People object very strongly as do we to seeing these animals, which are still fundamentally wild, spending hours and hours standing in a noisy, brightly lit shopping centre surrounded by people.
“These animals are not suited for our climate, they don’t get the right diet, they suffer from stress related diseases. Their physical welfare is endangered but also their mental welfare from being made to behave in this unnatural way.”
The Scottish government have been made aware of the problem and this year introduced a bill to protect Wild Animals in Travelling Circus’. Last week, there was further consideration of the bill and according to Libby Anderson, there was a lot of discussion surrounding the treatment of reindeer.
She believes that these petitions are a great idea that are beneficial to raising public awareness.
“Write to your MSP, to the Scottish government, the cabinet secretary of environment and say to please review the misuse of animals.
“This won’t come out of the blue as the Scottish government recently committed to review the use of animals in performance and entertainment.”