World Society for the Protection of Animals released undercover video that shows panicked reindeer needlessly tormented as they are herded and transported to slaughterhouses in Sweden and Finland in time for Christmas dinner.
WSPA released graphic video on Monday that showed the mistreatment gentle reindeer endure as they are rounded up by commercial slaughterhouses.
The organization condemns the abuse and says it goes directly against a 2008 Nordic Declaration, the 1998 Animal Welfare Act in Sweden and the 1996 Animal Welfare Act in Finland.
WSPA asks for your support in signing a letter to the Nordic Council of Ministers demanding they enforce the current laws.
“The film that we are showing is particularly shocking now that Christmas is upon us, but it clearly shows the cruel reality that reindeer are exposed to,” Roger Pettersson, secretary general of WSPA Sweden, said in a statement on Monday.
Traditionally reindeer have been raised in small herds in Sweden and Finland for their meat and hides. There was great care to minimize distress to the animals.
But the process has dramatically changed over the past couple of decades as the reindeer industry expanded and became more commercial.
WSPA said, “Visuals from our investigation detail the reindeer’s extreme suffering at every stage of the commercial process.”
“It is clear that transport and slaughterhouse operators are in violation of existing legislation in Sweden and Finland, which explicitly state that no undue distress, pain or suffering be caused to animals.”
The gentle reindeer are dragged and shoved onto trucks. They are herded so tightly that their antlers jab into nearby animals or get caught in the sides of the trucks causing undue pain. And once at the slaughterhouses the reindeer are killed one by one with knives.
In 2008 the Nordic Council of Ministers adopted a declaration that ensures all reindeer be treated with respect and not subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering.
WSPA is calling for existing animal welfare laws in Sweden and Finland to be enforced, and ask for your help by adding your name to their letter to the Nordic Council of Ministers. Click Here to Sign.
To learn how reindeer meat is becoming popular in restaurants and grocery stores throughout Europe, please check out this Care2 story: Reindeer Meat Sold for Christmas Season, by Jake R.
Here is the video from WSPA – graphic images.
Creative Commons - Billy Lindlom
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