Reindeer should not be used in Santa’s Grottoes because stress can damage their fertility, warn animal welfare organisations – The Telegraph

While Christmas is not complete without Rudolph, festive fairs and Santa's Grottoes across the land need to do without reindeer this year, according to animal welfare organisations.

Keeping the herd animals in a confined space and forcing them into areas with loud noise is damaging for their health and can cause infertility, illness and early death according to the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association.

Thousands of people have planned to go to reindeer attractions this Christmas, appearinggrottoes at fairs, pubs, garden centres and shopping complexes across the country.

Those going to events have been warned not to "treatanimals like Christmas decorations" and urged to avoid grottoes with live reindeer present.

Specialist deer vets report a range of problems in reindeer kept in the UK, including a lack of weight gain, weight loss, diarrhoea, poor muscle development, poor antler growth, malformed antlers, low fertility and high calf mortality.

Daniella Dos Santos, the president of the British Veterinary Associationsaid they are at risk of severe health problems if kept in grotto conditions.

She told The Telegraph: "Reindeerare highly adapted to life in the Arctic, but can be at greater risk of health problems in warmer climates, so its imperative to give due care and attention to meeting their very specific welfare needs.

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Reindeer should not be used in Santa's Grottoes because stress can damage their fertility, warn animal welfare organisations - The Telegraph

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