School under fire over trip for five-year-olds to see reindeer slaughter

School under fire over trip for five-year-olds to see reindeer slaughter

A school in arctic Norway is facing criticism for taking five-year-old children on an outing to view the slaughter and skinning of reindeer at a nearby farm.

The criticism appeared on Facebook after the school posted photographs of eight children looking at reindeer, a culled animal hanging above a pool of blood, a child dragging bloodied pelts in the snow and children in their snowsuits tossing bits of animal carcasses into a container.

Dag Olav Stølan, head of the Granstubben Barnehage school, said the day trip on Tuesday was designed to teach the children about the indigenous Sami, who live in northern Norway and are often involved in reindeer herding.

Hundreds of thousands of reindeer roam freely across the region and provide work for those in the country’s sparsely populated northern wilderness.

“There are many reindeer outside,” Stølan said on Friday, speaking by telephone from the school near the city of Steinkje, 320 miles (515km) north of Oslo. “This is not the first time we have done it.”

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