Rich trophy hunters are paying to shoot reindeer in the wild. Brits are being offered the chance to join a trip where they can stalk and kill real-life Rudolphs in a national park.
The animals being targeted by trophy hunters belong to the last surviving population of wild reindeer in Europe and roam in two of Norway’s largest national parks.
The shooting trips are being run by Hendry, Ramsay and Waters, which describes itself as “Scotland’s Premier Sporting Agency”.
On its website is a photo of two men pictured next to the carcass of a large reindeer.
“The Jotunheimen national park reopens this year after being closed to all hunting for the past eight years, so this untouched territory will really be worth a visit.”
But Nick Weston, from the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “It’s hardly in the spirit of Christmas to shoot Rudolph, is it?
“There is no justification for shooting animals for fun at any time of the year, but to celebrate Christmas by killing Santa’s reindeer doesn’t really keep with the season of goodwill.
“When will we learn that animals are not commodities and give them the gift of life instead of needlessly killing them?”
The agency boasts: “We have full exclusivity in both the Brehei-men and Jotunhei-men national parks, which hold Europe’s last-surviving population of wild reindeer, which have been hunted here since the Ice Age.
There are thought to be around 200,000 reindeer in Norway. They can migrate huge distances looking for food – a lichen that is known as “reindeer moss”.
As well as the chance to hunt reindeer and the bigger moose, the agency offers the chance to shoot bears and wolves, which are a critically endangered species in Norway.
It also runs big-game packages to Africa, where trophy hunters can target species such as zebra, kudu, antelope and bushbuck.
The company, run by Vernon Waters, also offers deer stalking at various sites in England and Scotland.
Hendry, Ramsay and Waters describe shooting a red deer as a “magical experience”.
The agency says: “Red Deer stalking in Scotland is truly one of the most magical experiences that hunting in the UK can offer.”
This article was first published by The Daily Star on 14 December 2019. Hunting is in no way supported or condoned by Focusing on Wildlife. The article has been re-published in order to highlight and condemn this cruel and abhorrent practice, which should be classified as wildlife crime.
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