OVIEDO – Animal welfare organisations have protested in Oviedo against the unfortunate reindeer spectacle that, according to the city council, should have been the ultimate Christmas show.
Directly from Lapland and accompanied by seven elves dressed in green, Santa Claus toured the urban area of Oviedo. This was the first visit to greet the little ones of the city. The tension was palpable in the Asturian capital from early morning. Hundreds of Asturians gathered in the streets to receive Santa Claus. But the six reindeer that pulled his sleigh were the real stars of this parade.
While many were stunned by the presence of these animals, animal organisation PACMA had staged a demonstration in the Plaza de la Escandalera, Oviedo’s main square. The demonstration was aimed “against the unfortunate spectacle that the Oviedo City Council had staged as the highlight of Christmas.” “In the end, it all came down to a group of poor reindeer who were exhausted from walking the streets for hours amid crowds and noise, accompanied, of course, by Santa Claus and his elves,” the animal welfare organisation said.
“We don’t know where those reindeer came from or under what circumstances they came here. Also not where they stayed before the parade. Because the city council did not agree to our request for information,” they continue. PACMA regrets the spectacle. However, it states “it cannot be that in a society that is supposed to evolve, these kinds of embarrassing shows continue to be celebrated.”
“Fun with animal cruelty, no!”
The protest also spread through social networks, where hundreds of internet users expressed their unease. “How sad to see those poor reindeer suffering without any need. Laws are being made for animal protection. But priority should be to teach new generations, who want to see Santa Claus, that reindeer suffer outside their habitat. Furthermore, there is no reason not to do the same with a Santa on foot or with fake reindeer… How are we going to stop animal cruelty if we don’t teach children from an early age about respect for all living things?” facebook. “Fun with animal suffering NO”, said another.