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Health and safety killjoys ban reindeer from Christmas display... because it might snow


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Now health and safety killjoys ban reindeer from Christmas display... because it might snow



By David Wilkes

Last updated at 9:42 AM on 22nd December 2009





As natives of the Arctic Circle, reindeer are pretty used to trotting about in wintry weather.

So you might not have thought a market town in the East Midlands would pose much of a problem for them.

But health and safety officers had other ideas after 12 were booked to entertain shoppers in Market Harborough.


article-0-07AC42A1000005DC-234_468x349.jpg Reindeer similar to these from the Real Reindeer company were banned from the Christmas display


They banned the animals from parading round the town square after ruling it was too dangerous --because it might snow.








Officials put up posters saying: 'There is a risk of slips and falls to attendees at the event, when the conditions get worse.'

The sudden cancellation only three hours before the reindeer were due to arrive in the Leicestershire town for the council-organised event left shopkeepers fuming.


article-0-07AD02D1000005DC-281_468x286.jpg Hundreds of shoppers planning to gather in the The Square in Market Harborough were left disappointed after the reindeer display was deemed too risky


Malcolm Lever-Jones, independent traders' spokesman, said: 'It is health and safety gone barmy and completely ruined the festive mood.

'Hundreds of people had come from up to 40 miles away and were dreadfully disappointed.

'The council said there was a risk of snow and ice to pedestrians but with or without the reindeer the streets were still icy. None of the town centre was cordoned off. It just made no sense.'

He estimated the cost to the taxpayer of cancelling Friday's event at around £10,000.

A Harborough Council spokesman said: 'Obviously, the reindeer would have loved the snow. But sadly we decided to cancel because of the possible danger to people, including young children.'

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