By now we're all aware that the holiday season is upon us. With this time of year come, of course, tons of special events and festivals to celebrate the most anticipated month ever.
TL;DR A chronic wasting disease epidemic in Quebec is leading the Wildlife Department to ban reindeer from any holiday celebrations this year. Many handlers are outraged that they'll be losing thousands of dollars in revenue as a result. The disease has already claimed the lives of multiple deer in the province.
Holiday festivals, parades, and markets, go all out to create the celebratory, holiday atmosphere: decorated trees, carolers, elves, Santa Claus, and of course... Santa's reindeer.
You couldn't have a holiday celebration without the animals that pull Santa's sleigh across the world, right?
Unfortunately, however, the reindeer will not be making an appearance at festivities in Quebec this year. Yes, reindeer (and any type of deer for that matter) are banned from any holiday event taking place in Quebec this year.
That's due to a deadly chronic wasting disease, which has already infected and claimed the lives of at least five deer on a farm in the province. Owners of reindeer that annually take part in parades and special events for the holidays have already been warned by the Wildlife Department to keep the animals caged this season.
Let's just say they aren't taking it too well.
One reindeer handler in Quebec, whose animals have starred in productions such as X-Men: Apocalypse, is furious at the fact that he could lose up to $40,000 this year, alone, if he isn't allowed to attend the holiday events with his deer.
Although the reindeer are supposedly in healthy condition, the Agriculture Ministry of Quebec is refusing to lift the ban until all investigations are complete. Which means poor Rudolph won't be lighting the way for any sleighs this season.
As much as we're all disappointed that we'll be losing an important member of Santa's entourage, chronic wasting disease is no joke.
Similar to mad cow disease, the infection can be found in elk, moose, and deer. The condition can go undetected for years, ultimately leading to poor health, behavioural changes, disorientation, and death.
Until biologists in the province have confirmed the disease has been completely eliminated, deer of any kind are banned from public areas.
It would take a massive Christmas miracle to let Rudolph join in on any reindeer games this year.