Ending cruelty to Scotland's animals


There's nothing festive about supporting their suffering

There are many animals who will suffer this Christmas, and every other day of their lives. That's why we need your help. Thousands of animals are suffering in captivity, denied their autonomy and opportunity to live the lives that they choose. Instead, their sole purpose is to provide entertainment to humans. 

Sadly, a variety of individuals and companies offer animal experiences in Scotland which compromise the welfare of the animals involved. These include reindeer appearing in venues such as shopping centres at Christmas time, zoos, falconry displays, travelling petting zoos, aquariums and bird of prey exhibits. Animals used in entertainment can suffer from mental health problems and stress and are forced to live a life they would not choose. Where animals are kept in captivity and used for entertainment, the primary reason is profit - not their wellbeing. Reindeer might only be visible during the festive season, but are also kept in captivity all year round. Therefore, there is the risk that out of sight, out of mind.

Reindeer belong in the Arctic Tundra, not dressed up and paraded through our high streets

Reindeers are native to the Arctic Tundra and it is very difficult to ensure that their needs are met in captivity. They are used to the quiet of the wilderness, open space, and cool temperatures, yet they are still penned into small enclosures at garden centres, theme parks, and schools. While it might feel magical to see a live reindeer at Christmas, these displays are causing a wealth of welfare issues for the animals involved. Is it right to expose these naturally shy and reserved animals to loud noises, bright lights, and the swarms of eager children desperate to pet them? To exploit arctic wildlife in such a manner is to do them a terrible injustice, yet unfortunately, these scenarios await many captive reindeer across Scotland each Christmas. They are dressed up to suit our ideals around Christmas as if they were undeserving of dignity. 

Exhibiting live reindeer for festive celebrations, keeping animals captive in zoos, safari parks and aquariums doesn’t only cause animals great physical and mental suffering, but it also suggests that animals are props to be used for our entertainment. 

Animals are sentient beings, with their own priorities and needs. A captive environment cannot fully provide for them and, is it justifiable to capture or breed wild, exotic or marine animals and take away their freedom, just for our pleasure? While we continue to fight for improved welfare for animals living in captivity, until such time as they no longer exist, as individuals we can also play our part. Let’s boycott the exploitation of animals and help to end the cycle of keeping animals behind bars.

It’s been several years since our campaign to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland was successful, but we still have a long way to go. Animals “seeming” happy in a captive environment, or being well cared for physically, is not enough. We must stop judging animals’ behaviour in line with humans and expecting them to behave and react in the same way people do. 

By donating towards our festive appeal, you will help:

  • Raise awareness among the public of the physical and mental health problems of animals kept in captivity and discourage people from supporting such voyeuristic experiences.
  • Demonstrate that the public does not want to support reindeer displays and help end their existence.
  • Promote the protection of animals by protecting their natural habitats, rather than doing so under the guise of conservation within captive environments.
  • Educate children that animals are not props for our entertainment, but fellow sentient beings, deserving of autonomy.

It is far more valuable to educate people about the fascinating, and complex lives of animals in the wild than to promote a voyeuristic experience in which people see confined animals who frequently have physical and/or mental health problems. There are so many other ways to find joy and we can love animals from a distance, by respecting their right to the kind of life they would choose. 

Thank you for your gift. It’s only with your support that we can raise awareness and create long term change, helping to end the exploitation of animals in entertainment.


Can you help us reach £5,000?

About you