Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Reindeer welfare must be a priority, experts say

AgResearch is urging strict adherence to welfare standards for the hard-working reindeer this holiday season.

As experts in both deer research and welfare, AgResearch scientists have noted the crucial role of the reindeer is often overlooked at this busy time of the year.

“Between the potentially millions of stops over the course of a night (depending on child behaviour), and a significant weight to haul over long distances, the demands and stress on the animals are huge,” says AgResearch animal welfare team leader, Dr Jim Webster.

“It’s important the animals get regular rest breaks, and access to water. All indications are that the owner/sleigh driver with responsibility for these reindeer has a good grasp of his obligations and takes these seriously. However, we would ask anyone who spots the reindeer landing on their roofs or in their backyards to keep their eyes peeled for any signs of distress.”

“Anyone who notices a particularly shiny nose on one of the reindeer should not be alarmed. Our understanding is that this rare condition is not causing discomfort for the animal, and there is no risk of spread to the other reindeer or for children who are out of their beds for a peek.”

AgResearch deer researcher Jamie Ward says a major concern is the nutrition available to the reindeer on their busiest night.

“The risk is that high energy offerings left out for the reindeer owner could be eaten by the reindeer themselves, and this can wreak havoc on their digestive systems as they work. The reindeer have come from a Northern Hemisphere winter consuming a low energy winter diet and high energy food could cause acidosis.”

“If people want to leave something out for the reindeer, our suggestion would be to leave some delicious lichen – it’s what they eat in the wild during winter.”

After the holiday season, a new focus of research for scientists will be the potential to add efficiencies to the sleigh operation, including whether sheep or cattle can provide alternative propulsion.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


REINZ: Market Activity And Prices Continue To Ease, First Home Buyers Start To Return To The Market

New Zealand’s winter property market continues its recent trend, slowing from the pace of sales and price rises of last year — properties stay on the market longer and median prices dip... More>>

FMA: Cigna Admits Making False And Misleading Representations
Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited has admitted to making false and/or misleading representations to customers in proceedings brought by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko... More>>


Statistics: Retail Card Spending Down 0.2 Percent In July
Retail card spending fell $11 million (0.2 percent) between June 2022 and July 2022, when adjusted for seasonal effects, Stats NZ said today... More>>



ASB: Full Year Results: Building Resilience Today And For Our Future

In its 175th year, ASB has reported a cash net profit after tax of $1,418 million for the 12 months to 30 June 2022, an increase of $122 million or 9% on the prior year... More>>


Commerce Commission: Draft Determination On News Publishers’ Association’s Collective Bargaining Application
The Commerce Commission (Commission) has reached a preliminary view that it should allow the News Publishers’ Association of New Zealand (NPA) to collectively negotiate with Meta and Google... More>>


Heartland: Retirees Facing Pressure From Higher Cost Of Living And Increasing Debt In Retirement

Heartland has seen a significant increase in Reverse Mortgages being used to repay debt. Among the most affected by the increasing living costs are retirees, many of whom are trying to get by on NZ Super alone... More>>