Success! No More Live Reindeer Events at Westfield Malls

Reindeer are part of the Christmas tradition for many of us. We may be familiar with the animals who drag Santa’s sleigh, Rudolph being the most famous, but we mostly just think of them as cute animals that bring us Christmas from the North Pole.

So let’s get some facts here: Reindeer live in the Arctic and love to be together in huge numbers. They travel in herds of anything from 10 to a few hundred, but in the spring they may join up in super-herds of several thousand.

Their antlers are their most prominent characteristic. Reindeer have the largest antlers of all living deer species. Just like a tree, antlers have a main beam and other branches that grow from the front of the reindeer’s skull.

Reindeer are built so they can stay warm in those freezing Arctic temperatures. They also have hairy hooves that allow them to walk on frozen ground like ice or mud without slipping. Then there’s the reindeer nose, which can sniff out food under the snow and is designed to warm incoming cold air before it gets as far as the lungs. 

So what on earth are these magnificent animals doing in U.S. malls at Christmas time, just one or two of them confined to tiny holding areas and surrounded by people and lights?

Shopping malls nationwide are using live reindeer as a device to draw in customers. This is cruel and inhuman behavior. Animals are not ours to capture and put on display.

The Captive Animal Protection Society (CAPS) has even reported that several reindeer used in these displays have died due to “poor management and their special dietary and environmental requirements.”

When Sharanya Prasad realized that Westfield Shopping Centers around the U.S. were promoting captive reindeer experiences as part of their holiday celebrations, she decided to create a Care2 petition demanding that Westfield stop their exploitation of reindeer.

Here’s what she wrote:

“Dear Westfield Corporation leadership and decision makers,

As a Care2 member who is concerned about the welfare of all animals, including reindeer, I urge you to immediately stop promoting live reindeer at Christmas events at any of your shopping malls. I also urge you to take a stand for animals and publicly state you will not host any live animal displays or events in the future.”

She went on, “Christmas is a magical enough time for families without needing to exploit reindeer and other animals for a quick photo opp.”

Success!

Her petition garnered over 90,000 supporters. It also received this response from Westfield:

“Dear Sharanya,

Westfield endeavors at all times to hear and respond appropriately to feedback. The holidays are an important time in our communities and we are always excited to create a festive environment for our customers and retailers to enjoy with friends, family and loved ones. While the incorporation of animals into holiday activities was limited to a couple of outdoor centers, we agree in retrospect that there plans are ill-advised and have been cancelled.

With thanks for your dedication and bringing this issue to the forefront – Westfield”

Congratulations to Sharanya Prasad for creating this petition and to all the Care2 activists who signed up to support her. And thank you to Westfield for responding to consumer feedback. 

Westfield is one of the biggest global retail companies and owns over 40 shopping centers across the U.S., which means this decision is potentially huge for protecting both reindeer and other animals from inhuman treatment in the future.

Have you seen an exploitative live animal event in your city that you want to stop? Start a Care2 petition to help draw attention to your campaign. 

 

76 comments

Jessica C
Jessica C11 days ago

still happy about this

SEND
Cathy B
Cathy B16 days ago

Good news. Thank you.

SEND
Jim Ven
Jim V17 days ago

thanks

SEND
Jim Ven
Jim V17 days ago

thanks

SEND
Jerome S
Jerome S17 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Jerome S
Jerome S17 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Ruth L
Ruth L26 days ago

Great news and thanks for sharing.

SEND
Jessica C
Jessica C27 days ago

That's wonderful! Awesome news!! Thank you!

SEND
Panchali Yapa
Panchali Y29 days ago

Thank you

SEND
Marija M
Marija M29 days ago

:) tks

SEND