Queensland’s donkeys will get a break this year after department store retailer David Jones confirmed it will no longer use animals in its customary Brisbane parade.
The retailer, which has been under pressure from animal rights groups over the parade in recent years, will also ditch using deer and camels in the promotion.
The move makes sense, particularly given heightened scrutiny over how companies use and portray animals in their products and promotions in recent years, and has been welcomed by PETA.
“PETA applauds David Jones’ decision, as there’s nothing merry about using animals as holiday ornaments,” PETA liaison Emily Rice said in a statement.
“Any other stores or venues tempted to exhibit deer or other animals in their parades … [should] follow David Jones’ compassionate lead.”
In the past, David Jones has used reindeer to pull a Santa’s sleigh in the parade, with PETA raising concern that entertainment animals are generally shipped around from event to event.
It can be a stressful time of the year for deers, donkeys and camels, which have in the past served as decorations for nativity scenes and other similar events.
“Deer, who naturally shun human contact, endure a perpetual state of discomfort and stress at such events.
“They’re also often trucked from one event to the next and subjected to a constant barrage of strange noises and disruptive activity as humans try to touch them,” Peta said in a statement.
For David Jones, which has had to deal with protesters at the parade in the past, the decision is likely to give its promotion some breathing room.
Perhaps a Purple People Eater would be a better parade feature.