Police warn husband and wife pub landlords that Santa’s visit with their reindeers is cancelled after an animal rights activist threatens to TOUCH their boozer.

  • Steve and Rebecca Eccles, who own the Saddle Inn in Fulford, York, had planned a treat
  • Santa Claus and his reindeer were expected to visit the children of the area and entertain them.
  • Animal rights activists believed that having the animals in their care would be cruel.
  • Some threatened to torch the pub. Police advised it to be shut down. 

After animal rights activists threatened to burn it down, a pub was forced to cancel Santa’s Christmas visit with his reindeer and had to cancel its Christmas party.

Steve and Rebecca Eccles are the owners of the Saddle Inn Fulford, York. Their plan was to give children a treat and invite them to see Father Christmas, his Elfs and two reindeer in its beer yard on the Saturday before Christmas.

Freedom for Animals an animal rights charity asked its supporters for help to contact the pub to ask them to make it animal-free. It added that visiting children would still be able meet Santa and his elves and receive a gift, and could enjoy all the magic of Christmas without being forced to witness stressed, imprisoned reindeer in a small pen.

Mrs Eccles stated that they received hundreds of emails asking them to cancel their reindeer and one person threatened to burn down the pub – with them inside if the event continued.

A post online from the pub said: ‘I understand and respect your views, however, receiving threatening emails – to burn the pub down with us in it if we continue with the planned visit from Santa and his Reindeer – is TOO MUCH.’ 

Mrs Eccles claimed that they contacted the police and were advised to cancel the event. The couple stated on Facebook that they had received advice from the police to cancel the event. 

Steve and Rebecca Eccles, who run the Saddle Inn at Fulford, York, have axed the Santa visit

Steve and Rebecca Eccles, who own the Saddle Inn in Fulford, York have cancelled the Santa visit

Mrs Eccles said they then began receiving hundreds of emails from all over the world, asking them to cancel the reindeer, and one person even threatened to burn the pub down

Mrs Eccles claimed that they started receiving hundreds of emails from all around the globe asking them to cancel the reindeer. One person threatened to burn the pub down.

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“After all we have done for the community over the almost two years that we have been here, now we must seriously consider our safety and if we feel safe enough staying here at the bar. 

Local residents are shocked by the threat. One commented: “Shocking behavior, it’s shame as you do so many for this community. Another wrote: Terrorism wins. This is the world we live in today.

Rebecca stated that the reindeer visited last summer and grazed happily in a grassy area.

After being contacted locally, she claimed that the charity became involved in her case.

She stated that she would still have done this year’s event even if it was just her and Steve. But they had to consider their staff, customers, and young children who would have been there. 

The Facebook post from the landlords laid bare the prospect of their pub being burned down

The landlords posted a Facebook message revealing the possibility of their pub being destroyed

She said that the pub would continue to operate with a separate Christmas market on December 4, and 5.

Freedom for Animals stated that it raises awareness every year about the plight of animals used in festive events. It claimed that these animals were forced to endure cramped conditions and loud noises and being handled by the public. It asked businesses to organize ‘compassionate events’ instead and not the exploitation of living, feeling animals like reindeer.

“On Tuesday, November 2, we used social networking to alert our supporters to an event in York, where a pub planned to have reindeer on-site for this type of event.

“We asked our supporters contact the venue to politely request that they continue their celebrations sans the use of live animal.

“The pub owners claim that some of their communication from the public was threatening. We, as an organization, do not condone violence threats and would not encourage others to make them.