• Sweden's news in English

Reindeer 'cruelty' slammed by rights group

TT/Vivian Tse · 7 Dec 2010, 14:11

Published: 07 Dec 2010 14:11 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

WSPA released a video on Monday that shows reindeer in distress when herded and transported, and while at the slaughterhouse.

"The film that we are showing is particularly shocking now that Christmas is upon us, but it clearly shows the cruel reality that reindeer are exposed to," Roger Pettersson, secretary general of WSPA Sweden, said in a statement on Monday.

The footage also shows a reindeer being killed by a knife stab to the neck, as well as animals being earmarked by knife without anesthesia.

"This must be stopped immediately," Pettersson told news agency TT on Monday.

WSPA tasked a journalist with investigating the conditions for reindeer on their way to slaughter.

"He followed the reindeer herding and observed the gathering, selection, transport and slaughter, and evidence shows a high stress level for the animals. The reindeer are stressed during transport and their antlers become entangled. Even during branding, the animals are treated poorly," said Pettersson.

He said it is a challenge to handle reindeer, which are semi-domesticated animals and not accustomed to people.

"Densely packed into transport vehicles, reindeer antlers become weapons. They get caught in the sides of transport vehicles and they can even hurt each other before they reach the slaughterhouse," Pettersson said in a statement.

As such, Pettersson advocated the use of smaller mobile slaughterhouses such that the slaughterhouse move, not the reindeer.

According to the WSPA, the problem of distressed reindeer is similar in all Nordic countries. It said it will call on the the Nordic Council of Ministers to urge it to act.

The council adopted a declaration in 2008 that animals should be treated as sentient beings, have intrinsic value, and should be respected accordingly.

However, the Swedish National Sami Association (Svenska Samernas Riksförbund, SSR) has rejected the WSPA's claims that reindeer are subjected to cruel conditions and vowed to take action against herders who use unsanctioned methods.

"From the reindeer's point of view, we do not accept slaughter methods that are not sanctioned by the authorities. We take a stand against individual reindeer owners who use knives in organised slaughter," Jorgen Jönsson, the chairman of the SSR, said in a statement on Monday.

SSR national director Anders Blom added that he is adamantly against the use of a knife to kill reindeer.

Story continues below…

"This is naturally something that is upsetting, but we have nothing against someone observing how we do our job. We have nothing to be nervous about," SSR national director Anders Blom told TT on Monday.

"We only use approved methods and have been working with government agencies to create programs for the treatment of animals based upon existing regulations," he added.

Research by the SSR, in collaboration with Sweden's University of Agriculture (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, SLU), shows that the stress levels of reindeer which are slaughtered has decreased during the last couple of years and are now at acceptable levels, according to Blom.

"You measure the animals' pH levels. The limit for a healthy animal that is not stressed during slaughter is 5.8. Fifteen years ago, 30 percent of the animals were above that value – today it is 8 percent. Most show no signs of stress," he said.

TT/Vivian Tse (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:26 December 7, 2010 by Nemesis
You can Halal in Skåne, but if the Sami walk on the cracks on the pavement, they have to be hounded about it.

WSPA should be told what to do with there anti Sami having land and sterilising the Sami, ideologies.

The hypocrisy of this reeks.

Is the hypocrisy of going after Assange for having consenual sex for the crime of rape and then letting rapists roam around Sweden raping as they please, not enough for Swedes?
18:26 December 7, 2010 by caradoc

i do not recall seeing any report of the hounding of the Sami by the WPSA.

If animal cruelty is taking place , no matter who is doing it , it should be reported and acted on .

Also since there has been no trial yet regarding the accusations against Assange how can you know it was consensual. were you there ?
18:57 December 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ caradoc

More has been said about this than just this very thinned out and dumbed down article, about this subject.
19:41 December 7, 2010 by Wireless.Phil
Why won't the video play?
20:26 December 7, 2010 by procrustes
The link below pretty much captures the inanity of this debacle. I wonder what Olaf Palme would think. Women have it so good in Sweden that the Feminists no longer have real issues, so the crazies have turned the Feminist movement into a androgyny.


Sad. Really, sad.
21:25 December 7, 2010 by dammen
Unfortunately there is no such thing as animal rights in Sweden - as I found to my cost when I moved here. Animal abuse is a way of life and nothing is going to change as long as bestiality is legal.

As far as Assange is concerned - there must be more at stake than alleged rape - just look at the situation with the chief of police in Uppsala and the punishment he got for the years of abuse he gave to young girls.
22:17 December 7, 2010 by LordSqueak
"The footage also shows a reindeer being killed by a knife stab to the neck,"

No it doesn't. It doesn't actualy show what the raindeer is being killed with.

But judging by the insta-death of the raindeer, it seems highly improbable that it was a knife. More likely this thing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captive_bolt_pistol
07:41 December 8, 2010 by Alf Garnett
How do they know the reindeer are stressed, have they complained to their shrink?

Typical political correct numpties, maybe it would be better to shoot the reindeer on the spot & then drag the carcass's away through the herd.

They should get their priorities right, you should here the screaming from the humane "Halal" slaughterhouse near globen. But they can't/daren't accuse them for cruelty to animals, that would be religious discrimination.
11:51 December 8, 2010 by Dr. Dillner
Feed them a case of beer before the slaughter, it will reduce their stress.
20:17 December 8, 2010 by Swedish123
The guys who did that shoud be killed.
Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available