Supermarket performs U-turn on reindeer events after being accused of “exploiting” animals

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A SUPERMARKET chain has performed a U-turn on their “Meet the Reindeer” events after being accused of “exploitinganimals.

Jack’s, part of Tesco PLC, yesterday announced they will no longer be featuring reindeer at their upcoming Christmas events.

The move comes after backlash from customers and animal rights campaigners who said the events would be stressing out reindeer in an “unnatural” environment.

Reindeer in a Christmas event
Reindeer at Christmas event.

Customers became concerned over the animals being poked, prodded and “exploited” for the events which were set to take place for twelve days in the run up to Christmas.

The reindeer were set to make an appearance as part of Jack’s Festive Fun Day events being held 27 November and 19 December.

The supermarket chain had been previously promoting the events on their social media accounts after the attraction was a success last year.

Jack’s released a statement on their website yesterday, saying: “Following customer feedback, we won’t be featuring reindeer at this year’s event. 

“But we’ll still be getting in the Christmas spirit with festive food, a Christmas choir and face painters.”

Reindeer at event
An image shows Jack’s advertising the Meet the Reindeer last year.

Jack’s, based in England, was put under pressure after being inundated with complaints from customers about the events on Twitter.

@JillMulato said: “@shopjacksuk Reindeer belong in the Arctic Tundra, not a British supermarket.

“They suffer and become ill from these busy, stressful and unnatural events.

“Please cancel your ‘Meet the Reindeer’ events and pledge to stop these exploitative and cruel displays.”

@Suomigirl987 wrote: “A chain of supermarkets will be exploiting reindeer at 12 events across almost a whole month.”

@minpin78 said: “@shopjacksuk please cancel all events using live reindeer to be prodded and gawped at by the public. 

“These animals do not belong in an environment like this and it is cruel to put them through this experience.”

Jack's supermarket
One of the Jack’s store (Barnsley).

Animal rights group Freedom for Animals were delighted by the U-turn

Isobel McNally, Festive Events Campaigner for Freedom for Animals today said: “We’re very pleased with this outcome, as the planned events constituted of a gruelling schedule for the reindeer, sometimes in more than one location per day, where they would be exposed to crowds, confined at the site and in transit, and subjected to completely unnatural and unsuitable environments.

“We commend Jack’s for listening to public opinion and making this compassionate, responsible decision.”

An email from Jack’s head office to Freedom for Animal read: “We’ve carefully considered your comments, and after taking into account customer feedback, we have now decided not to feature reindeer at the event this year. 

“Customer feedback is incredibly important to us and we’re delighted to still be able to offer an event featuring face painters, a Christmas choir and festive food. 

“We thank you again for your close engagement on this matter.”