Reindeer being used in annual Christmas parades could soon be a thing of the past.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) want the Brisbane City Council (BCC) to ban the use of the deer at festive celebrations, reports ABC news.
The annual Christmas parade, which runs from the December 16 till Christmas Eve, features locally bred deer as part of the event.
PETA Australia campaign co-ordinator, Claire Fryer, said using the deer sent a damaging message to young people and the wider community.
“It shows young people that animals are little more than props,” Ms Fryer told 612 ABC Brisbane’s Spencer Howson.
“There are many cruelty free ways for people to celebrate the holidays that would be far more in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
Ms Fryer said the deer were not willing participants in the parade and were not exhibiting their natural behaviour.
“The deer are no more suited to taking part in this event than they are pulling a sleigh through the sky,” she said.
“These large deer are usually roaming over large areas … they’re not used to being tied to carriages or being patted by people.”
Councillor and lead of Brisbane Christmas Festivities Krista Adams said BCC had used the deer for the last five years.
“We are very conscious of making sure the animals are comfortable and that they’re looked after,” she said.
“They only work for an hour, and we work with the RSPCA to make sure they’re happy with the services we’re providing.
“We’ve had animals in our parade for the last five years and have had complaints form PETA for the last five years,” she said.
“The parade is a very important part of family and Christmas in the city in Brisbane, so we want to make it as exciting and as wonderful for the children and the adults as we can.”
This follows a call last week for parents to stop pretending Santa Claus is real in case the “lie” damages the relationship between parent and child.
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