Sidmouth sisters in reindeer run in bid to ‘release Rudolf’

Sharon Howe and Sue Nicholson donning reindeer antlers and hi-vis vests for a reindeer run

Sharon Howe and Sue Nicholson doing their reindeer run for Freedom for Animals - Credit: Sharon Howe

A pair of Sidmouth sisters joined animal campaigners across the country responding to the call for ‘reindeer runners’. 

Sharon Howe and Sue Nicholson donned their antlers and running shoes taking to The Byes in a bid to draw attention to the exploitation of live animals at festive events up and down the country. 

Many of the these events are still going ahead, despite the coronavirus pandemic, and Sharon and Sue wanted to do their bit for ‘poor Rudolf’. 

Sharon said: “Every year, these sensitive animals, who are easily spooked by noises and new environments, are trucked for miles in cramped trailers, dragged out by their antlers, forced into harnesses covered in tinsel and bells and subjected to busy crowds.  

“They are taken into schools, shopping centres and even pubs and supermarkets.  

“Even when not in use, they are deprived of their freedom and kept in unsuitable conditions far from their natural homes.  

“In the wild, reindeer travel with their families in huge herds and migrate thousands of miles across forest and woodland.” 

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Sue added: “Of course, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer will always have a place in people’s hearts as a symbol of the festive season... but let’s keep it to the realm of Disney and show some kindness and compassion at Christmas.” 

The run was organised by Freedom for Animals, a charity set up to fight for the rights of animals across the world. 

The charity has launched a campaign to ‘release Rudolf’ hoping it will help to stop what it calls the exploitation of reindeer who are still being subjected to a life ‘on the road’ at this time of year. 

A spokesman for the charity said: “Some are still being taken into schools, garden centres and even supermarkets.  

“Others are languishing in fields or barns, as their captors make plans for 2021 when they can take them back out on the road and make money.  

Whatever is happening to these reindeer this year, they face fear, stress and suffering. Deprived of their freedom, they are so far from their natural homes in snowy mountains and alpine forests. They are just here, waiting for their unknown destination."

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