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YOUR REINDEER'S NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS; Campaigners slam festive 'exploitation'.

Byline: Alistair Munro

THE owner of the UK's only reindeer herd has been slammed over their "exploitation"for Christmas shows.

Animal Aid say the creatures are put at risk by being taken to grottoes and parades - including one at London's upmarket Harrods store.

Spokesman Ashley Owen said: "Uprooting reindeer from their natural habitat and keeping them in captivity in this way causes significant health and welfare problems."

But Tilly Smith, who runs the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre at Glenmore, insisted there is nothing wrong in using the animals for celebrations, as long as they are looked after.

She said: "The issue is how they are kept.

They should not be in permanent captivity, that's why there have been these welfare problems in England."

Her comments came after an investigation revealed a sharp rise in UK reindeer deaths. The Veterinary Laboratories Agency linked it to bad diet, poor welfare and the stress of being uprooted from their natural Arctic habitat.

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OWNER: Tilly Smith with one of her reindeer
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 27, 2009
Words:168
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