Shocking Secrets: Reindeer Meat


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.

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 more about reindeer

Did you know that reindeer noses really do glow? They regulate their temperature through their noses and have 25 per cent more capillary vessels in them than humans. When they stick their noses into the snow to find food, blood rushes to the tip to keep it from freezing and can turn it a pink-ish colour.

Find out more about reindeer including fun facts, their natural lives and how they are farmed »

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