Concerns for reindeer kept at Lapland UK

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Concerns for reindeer kept at Lapland UK.

Lapland UK is an attraction based in Ascot, UK. The attraction was started with the aim of “recreating Father Christmas’ mythical Arctic homeland here in the UK”. It seems like a great day out for the family with many activities for kids which do not involve animals. Unfortunately reindeer are kept at the site and we have recently been contacted by a member of the public with concerns for their welfare. These accusations are worrying, as CAPS also holds concerns for animals such as reindeer who are used at many Christmas events at this time of year.

We believe that reindeer should be roaming free in the wild, not used for our entertainment. Thankfully some event organisers are moving away from using animals following public concerns, we hope that Lapland UK will do the right thing and create a fun day out without the exploitation of animals.

Please read the concerns of this whistleblower on the welfare of the animals at Lapland UK:

‘I recently saw the reindeer at Lapland UK, based on Swinley Road in Ascot. The staff member caring for them was very excited to show me the reindeer… but the sight of these animals and their “housing” was possibly one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen.

They have six reindeer in an enclosure (I didn’t actually measure it, but at an estimate I would say roughly 20m x 10m). From what I understand they will be in there for the duration (5 weeks). They have absolutely no opportunity to roam at all. I also overheard that their only water trough constantly leaks. I commented that considering the small space they were in, they didn’t have much enrichment or stimulation – to which I was told “they have a salt lick”. I also believe that the enclosure this year was half the size it had been in previous years. I also noticed a number of pieces of plastic mixed in with the wood chipping on the ground – which I’m sure bored animals would find a wonderful novelty to chew on for something to do possibly resulting in twisted or blocked intestines.

I’m certainly no expert in reindeer behaviour or ecology, but I have worked with animals for a number of years and these animals look to me to display the typical appearance of bored, stimulus deprived captive animals.

I don’t wish to speak ill of the woman who is overseeing their time at Lapland as she clearly does enjoy caring for the reindeer, but also clearly has no experience of working in animal welfare, management or husbandry. It appears the organisers / owners of Lapland UK clearly have no desire to consider those animals’ welfare during their time with the event. Given that the whole thing is set within a forest (aside from the fact that keeping them on display in any capacity is questionable) it would be in my opinion incredibly simple to at the very least provide these animals with a larger and more environmentally enriched space in which to reside.’

Take action to end the use of reindeer and other animals in Christmas events. Visit our Interactive map to see which events are taking place near you and ask them to commit to animal free festivities!

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