Knowsley Council is holding two ‘Meet the Reindeer’ events this Christmas – in Prescot Town Centre on 7 December from 11am – 3pm and in Huyton Town Centre on 14 December from 11am – 3pm.
Both events are free and people can take their own photographs.
The council has received a number of queries about the welfare of the animals and is keen to allay any fears about this.
The reindeer provider used by the council is registered with RSPCA, complaint with Defra regulations and carries all the relevant animal movement, performance and insurance documentation.
Both the council and the provider take the welfare of the animals very seriously indeed. Knowsley Council only use reindeer for smaller events with no loud music and smaller crowds. It limits the time the animals are in the town centres to a maximum of four hours and ensures that they have shelter in the event of adverse weather.
In addition, as part of the council’s ‘due diligence’ checks, its Environmental Health team inspected the provider’s premises. The feedback was really positive and the officer commented on the provider’s knowledge of the animal’s needs: a point that has also been highlighted by their own Local Authority and registered vet.
The council’s provider also runs the Reindeer Lodge in North Wales. They set out their commitment to animal welfare in the statement below:
“We have great pleasure in working with our reindeer every day and looking after them all year round, not just at Christmas. Our reindeer are very much part of our family, all with their own personalities and characteristics.
“We take great pride in the care of our reindeer and the surroundings in which they live to ensure their best health and quality of life. Our reindeer originate from domesticated and semi-domesticated herds, having had human interaction as part of their life for many generations providing care and protection for them.
“We live with our reindeer in stunning welsh border countryside, complete with 50 acres of hills, lakes, fresh water streams, grazing paddocks and woodland, creating the perfect environment for our reindeer to thrive and we have enjoyed a very successful herd management and breading programme for many years.
“Our herd is registered with Animal Health and is compliant with all DEFRA regulations. We have been RSPCA and Animal Health inspected and have a very healthy and content herd. We provide all Animal Display licenses, Deer movement documentation and Public Liability insurances for your display.”