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Let’s keep the pressure on Hamleys

by Darren

Yesterday was a day of incredible highs and lows.  Hundreds, if not thousands, more people have become involved in the campaign in a number of ways – blogging, contacting Hamleys, voting in online polls, commenting on news articles and letting people know about this appalling situation.  Media coverage is picking up and Hamleys are continuing to be put under enormous pressure to change their minds.  That’s the good news – now the bad.  Despite all this pressure Hamleys released an unapologetic statement confirming that the stunts are going ahead and claiming that it’s all about the magic of Christmas and it’s for the children.  So there we have it – it’s for the children, not the profit margins.

So – what next? One of our main concerns has always been for the welfare of the animals and that’s what we’ll be focusing on today.  We need everyone to contact Westminster City Council on generallicensing@westminster.gov.uk (FAO Mr Kerry Simpkin), let them know you are concerned about Hamleys’ use of live animals in store and request that they monitor the situation to ensure that the animals’ welfare is protected.  Please copy customerservices@hamleys.co.uk to make sure Hamleys know that we aren’t giving up and accepting their statement as a close to the matter.  You can also contact the RSPCA advice line on 0300 1234 555 and ask that they also monitor the situation.  Please don’t call the RSPCA cruelty line – while we think this is a cruel situation we don’t want to stop the RSPCA answering urgent calls about animal cruelty.  As always please remain polite and state the case calmly.

Main points to emphasise include that the animals are in confined areas, the store environment is likely to be stressful for the animals – especially the heat and the noise and we are concerned about the transportation of the animals – particularly with the potential that they were trapped in traffic for a long time and the incredible distance they have been brought – according to a student journalist who covered the protest yesterday they are being brought from Scotland, a return journey of over 1,000 miles.

Much of our focus has been on the events at the London store, but please spare a thought for the reindeer who will be at the Glasgow store on the second floor of the St Enoch’s Centre today.  We know that Glasgow City Council will be monitoring the event after being made aware of it on Tuesday but if anyone is in Glasgow and can let us know what is happening that would be great.

As with yesterday we will be updating the blog throughout the day with news and suggestions.  Keep checking regularly throughout the day.

If you would like to use any of the reindeer images posted on the blog please do – you can contact us in the comments to request watermark-free images.

Insignia Talk blogged about the management issues now being faced by Hamleys

– The news has gone global with US news website World News Insight covering the story

– Journalism student Michael Greenfield has produced a great report on the story, breaking the news that the reindeer are being brought 532 miles from the Cairngorms

– Mexican website El Universal comments on the story.  No idea what they are saying, but #sHamleys is worldwide now.

The Sun poll is still open – register and have your say.  Current voting is 69% against the penguins in store.

– Born Free have launched a Facebook campaign – Let Hamleys Know We’re Not Toys, please show your support.

– Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson has asked a Parliamentary Question on the welfare of the animals.  Ministers promise to look at whether any regulations have been broken.

– The big news – Hamleys have confirmed that the penguin show will no longer be going ahead.  But we need to keep pushing to stop the reindeer show.

– Great, great news.  Hamleys have confirmed that reindeer are also no longer in store.

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