Upmarket stores Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason and downmarket Lidl are selling - or have recently sold - reindeer meat in many of their stores across the UK. The reindeer industry causes huge suffering both to reindeers and wild animals, such as wolves, lynxes and bears (with cubs), that are killed to protect it.
The shocking secrets behind the trade in ‘novelty’ reindeer meat
Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason are selling the ‘Edible’ brand of reindeer pate from Sweden. Lidl are selling reindeer meat from Siberia. Viva! has uncovered that there are concerns that the growing popularity of reindeer meat in Britain is causing the destruction of large wild predators.
Reindeer also suffer from modern herding methods. In Nordic countries, they are often herded with snowmobiles, motorcycles and even helicopters, which causes a huge amount of stress to these gentle wild animals (view footage by WSPA). The suffering can be so great that their muscles can literally waste away. They may sometimes also be killed in methods that would be illegal in the UK.
In Siberia, bounties are often put on wolves and in many areas there are calls for their localised extinction in order to protect reindeer farming.
Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason and Lidl are selling reindeer meat as a 'novelty'. This in itself goes toward popularising the consumption of meat from wild animals, and that in-turn can excert potentially disastrous pressure on populations already suffering from the threats of climate change, urban encroachment, pollution and poaching - as well as their natural predators. Tell them to stop.
Read our media release with more information.
Please donate to Viva!'s life-saving campaigns.
Please politely complain to Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason and Lidl today and tell your friends and family so that they can, too. Use or adapt our pre-prepared messages below.
Email: email@example.com (or find the email for your nearest branch here)
Phone customer services: 0845 604 1888
365 Chiswick High Road
Fortnum & Mason
Email: http://www.fortnumandmason.com/contact-us.aspx (web form)
Phone customer services: 0845 300 1707
Fortnum & Mason plc
As a customer, I was very disappointed to be informed that you are currently selling products containing reindeer meat in the UK from Sweden.
Wolves, Wolverines, lynxes and even bears with cubs are shot in Sweden to protect the reindeer industry. Wolf populations in reindeer herding areas have been decimated and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has admitted that wolverines and wolves are seriously endangered yet allowed hunts in 2010 and 2011. It led to a legal challenge from the European Commission.
Currently there are only an estimated 200 wolves left in Sweden and Scandinavian activists claim that wolves’ natural migration routes have been closed which could lead to inbreeding and eventual extinction.
Large predators are also under threat from hunting in reindeer-herding areas of Finland and Norway, where they are simply not tolerated. By selling reindeer meat you are popularising this trade – and in turn are putting more pressure on indigenous wildlife.
Traditional methods of herding have given way to chasing reindeer with snowmobiles and motorcycles, as well as helicopters. This and lassoing them causes huge amount of stress for these wild animals. They can become so distraught that their muscle can literally waste away.
Whilst I understand that the reindeer meat you sell (via the ‘Edible’ brand) claims to be from farmed animals, this itself raises concerns – as farming methods are likely to cause huge amounts of stress to animals used to relatively free range over wide areas. Regardless of the rearing method, by selling reindeer meat at your stores in the UK you are popularising the sale of meat from these wild animals – which could lead to a boom in its sale and an increase in these problems elsewhere.
Therefore, I am calling on you to end the sale of reindeer meat in the UK. I hope you will agree to this, otherwise I will be forced to take my custom elsewhere.
Email: Lidl do not give out an email address, but you can contact them online here.
Phone customer services: 0870 444 1234
Lidl UK GmbH
As a customer of yours, I was very disappointed to be informed that you are currently selling products containing reindeer meat in the UK.
I am aware that Lidl source reindeer meat from Siberia - a country where wolves, wolverines and foxes are shot. In some areas of Siberia wolves are increasingly seen as a ‘pests’ that ‘need to be eliminated’ and hunting is encouraged, with financial incentives from the authorities In the northern areas where reindeer herding is practiced the reward can be three times that given in the south (20,000 roubles v. 7,000). In Chukotka (in the northern part of the Russian Far East where reindeer herding is common) around 400 wolves are shot each year (from a population of 3,000). There are calls for this to increase to 70 per cent. Intensive grazing of reindeer herds has also been blamed for habitat loss.
In some areas, traditional methods of herding have given way to chasing reindeer with snowmobiles and motorcycles, as well as helicopters. This and lassoing them causes huge amount of stress for these wild animals. They can become so distraught that their muscle can literally waste away. Even more traditional methods do not prevent large predators being targeted.
By popularising reindeer meat in the UK you could be putting increased pressure on wolves and other large wild animals.
Therefore, I am calling on Lidl to end the sale of reindeer meat in the UK. I hope you will agree to this, otherwise I will be forced to take my custom elsewhere.
Take action for wolves in Finland
Wildlife groups are extremely concerned that commercial reindeer herding is having a disastrous impact on wildlife in the area. Specifically, wolves have been all but wiped out in the reindeer herding areas.
Find out more and show your support by signing their petition to stop wolves being needlessly killed: http://www.salakaadotseis.fi/in-english/. Also sign this petition to help save Finnish wolves.
Also, please sign this pledge to end the persecution of wolves by declaring that you will never buy reindeer meat. Even if you are already veggie or vegan this declaration will help put pressure on the authorities to save wolves and other large predators killed to protect the reindeer industry in Scandinavia.