For Immediate Release:
12 November 2019
Animal Protection Group Targets Brisbane City Council With Action Alert Against the Use of Live Deer in Christmas Displays
Brisbane – Animal protection group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is working to end the use of live deer and other animals put on display during the festive season. PETA has launched an online action alert urging Brisbane City Council to cancel plans to feature live animals in its Christmas displays, which has been signed by hundreds of local supporters.
After talks with PETA and protests by Animal Liberation Queensland and other grassroots activists, David Jones ended the use of live animals in Brisbane’s annual Christmas parade in 2018. While the retailer showed kindness to animals by leaving them out of the parade, Brisbane City Council has continued to use “reindeer” to lure crowds, confining the deer to a small patch of plastic “grass” as part of the Santa’s Stable display at Reddacliff Place.
“Christmas attractions that use live animals completely go against the merry spirit of the season,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Animals are living, feeling individuals, not props, and they shouldn’t be made to suffer for our entertainment.”
Gabba Ward Councillor Jonathan Sri has also voiced concerns over the use of live animals in the display. “Even if you provide water and shade and regular breaks, the middle of a noisy Australian city on a hot summer’s day doesn’t seem like a very comfortable environment for deer that are adapted to European grasslands,” says Councillor Sri. “Christmas should be about friends and family coming together, not about mindless consumerism or disrespecting and subjugating other living creatures.”
After approaching the council about the issue for several years, this year, PETA has also written to Brisbane Marketing, organisers of the Christmas in the City programme.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that the “reindeer” who are forced to perform in parades or used in nativity scenes in Australia are often actually red deer – gentle animals with a natural instinct to flee from humans. At such events, they’re subjected to a constant barrage of strange noises and activity and to people who try to touch them.