Less than 100 Christmas camel petition protesters live in South Tyneside says council chief

Camel Parade and fireworks display
Camel Parade and fireworks display

Less than 100 signatures on petitions handed into council chiefs calling them to reconsider the use of camels in the annual festive parade are from those living in South Tyneside.

At a meeting of South Tyneside Borough Council last night, three petitions on ther issue were accepted by councillors.

One had attracted 283 signatures, a second had 209 names while a third had 1,206 signatures.

All three will be passed onto the council’s corporate director and commercial development officer for further consideration.

However, leader of the council, Coun Iain Malcolm, highlighted that less than 100 of the signatures featured on the petitions were from those living within South Tyneside.

He said: “It is worth noting that I have had the opportunity to review the petitions on behalf of the council. And less than 100 signatures reside in South Tyneside.”

The issue of the use of camels has been been a talking point each year between those for and against the animals forming part of the attraction of the Winter Wonderland parade which attracts hundreds of thousands of people to South Shields annually.

The camels are ridden along Ocean Road by three wise men in tribute to the traditional Christmas story.

In the past their use has been branded as ‘cruel’ and ‘ degrading spectacle’ by animal rights activists.

Meanwhile, a more recent petition is currently gathering signatures against the camels being part of this year’s event.

The council say a decision on the final programme for this year’s Christmas Wonderland will be made at a later date.