On the run-up to Christmas, upmarket store Harvey Nichols is shockingly selling reindeer meat in many of its stores across the UK. Please help us stop them.
Harvey Nichols are selling the ‘Edible’ brand of reindeer pate, which says it is from farmed reindeer. It is unclear what farmed means in this instance, but there are concerns about the welfare of these wild animals – especially as they can suffer greatly from stress.
In Nordic countries, reindeer 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 could be illegal in the UK. Many so young that they are killed before they even see snow.
No matter how the reindeer that Harvey Nichols are selling are raised, it does not detract from the fact that they are selling a ‘novelty’ meat from a wild animal in British stores. This in itself goes toward popularising the consumption of meat from wild animals, and that in-turn can put potentially disastrous pressure on populations already suffering from the threats of climate change, urban encroachment, pollution and poaching. There are also growing concerns that indigenous predators – such as wolves – are being shot to protect the reindeer meat industry.
Read Viva!’s Lidl press release, which details why modern methods of reindeer herding are so cruel.
Please politely complain to Harvey Nichols today and tell your friends and family so that they can, too!
Phone customer services: 0845 604 1888
365 Chiswick High Road
"Dear Harvey Nichols
As a customer of Harvey Nichols, I was very disappointed to be informed that you are currently selling products containing reindeer meat in the UK.
A report by scientists from the Division of Comparative Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden shows that 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.
Their misery doesn't end there. It appears that some reindeer are killed by having their spinal cord severed, which may cause paralysis and not instant death. This may be a method that would be illegal in the UK.
Another report from Food and Drink Europe states that 70 per cent of reindeer slaughtered for meat are calves that have never even seen the snow.
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.
Millions of pounds could be generated for these areas through eco-tourism, which would support indigenous people and protect reindeer populations. Indeed, this type of Christmas tourism is already booming. The trade in reindeer meat puts this at risk.
Viva! have also been contacted by wildlife groups in the Nordic regions who are very concerned about indigenous predators – such as wolves, bears and lynxes – being shot (both legally and illegally) to protect commercial reindeer herds. This trade could decimate wild populations of these animals in the Nordic regions.
Finally, promoting a trade in the meat of wild animals also puts other types of wildlife at risk by popularising so-called ‘exotic meat’.
Therefore, I am calling on Harvey Nichols to end the sale of reindeer meat in the UK. We hope you will agree to this, otherwise I will be forced to take my custom on the run up to Christmas 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/