An angry farmer has started a petition to change the law, after one of her animals was killed by an out-of-control dog.
Angie Flint and her husband Martin have a herd of reindeer at their small farm in Middleton, in the Harborough area, where their company Real Reindeer Ltd is based.
One of their reindeer calves was killed, and two more reindeer injured, when the herd was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier earlier this month, Mrs Flint said.
“Believe it or not this killing is not covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act, as reindeer are not classified as livestock in Britain,” said Mrs Flint.
Now she is starting a petition to get reindeer, and other “minority” but increasingly common British livestock animals like llamas and alpacas, included in the law.
The Flints’ reindeer are hired out to film and TV companies, and are particularly busy, of course, in the run-up to Christmas.
They have appeared all over Britain, from Harborough’s Late Night Shopping to Number 10, when prime minister David Cameron’s office decided reindeer would give a festive touch to Downing Street.
“Many farmers have diversified into what might be called exotic species,” Mrs Flint explained. “I don’t think anyone has realised that the law hasn’t been extended to cover these animals. I would ask anyone who enjoys meeting or seeing the reindeer at events to sign our petition.”
The petition is at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68171.
It asks for the Dangerous Dogs Act, which tackles attacks by dogs on livestock, to broaden the definition of livestock to include animals like reindeer, alpacas and llamas, and other animals kept on a farm.
“I want to say to Mail readers that your signature really will make a difference,” said Mrs Flint.
“And it’s something you can give back to these magical animals.”