World Animal Protection has stood against animal suffering for the past 70 years, including animal suffering disguised as “tourist attractions”. Whether riding, feeding and washing elephants in Jaipur, petting primates in National Parks or swimming with dolphins or dolphin shows —these animals are held captive by travel industries, which thereby promotes animal cruelty through wildlife entertainment.
Even though World Animal Protection has urged companies like TripAdvisor, Holidays, Booking.com etc., to become “wildlife friendly” by stopping experiences like elephant rides, dolphin shows etc, some companies are still far from being ethical about animal cruelty.
Travel Companies That Still Favour Animal Cruelty
World Animal Protection has expressed anger towards companies like Trip.com, AttractionTickets.com, Jet2holidays, TUI Musement and GetYourGuide. When they tracked the travel industry, it was found that their websites still promote the sale of the suffering of these animals.
The companies assessed by World Animal Protection are:
- TUI Musement
- Club Mahindra
The Wildlife Campaign Manager of World Animal Protection, Katheryn Wise has told in her interviews that some companies continue to do so even after repeated requests to ban these animal trades. She urges all tourists to stop booking such “entertainment” from these sites as they only exploit wildlife.
What Are The Parameters Of Evaluation Of Travel Companies?
World Animal Protection appointed the University of Surrey to conduct an objective audit to check travel firms. The four categories were evaluated. The first one is how committed they are towards all government policies that ensure animal welfare. Second is the presence and delivery of time-bound goals and reports on how well commitments to animal welfare are being met. Third is to implement wildlife-friendly changes, and lastly, how they encourage their customers to be wildlife friendly!
They also assessed if any of the travel companies offered any of these animal attractions:
- Elephant rides, feeding and washing
- Feeding or petting primates
- Selfies, shows, petting or walking with big cats
- Swimming with captive dolphins and dolphin shows
- The sale of any interactive “experiences” involving any captive wild animals (including for example sea lions, crocodiles and alligators)
What Can You Do To Help World Animal Protection?
The best way to travel responsibly is to never book a holiday with a company that claims to offer responsible, sustainable travel but continues to exploit wild animals. In addition, it is essential to leave captive wildlife entertainment or such experiences off your itinerary to travel responsibly.
The expanding travel and tourism sector is fueling the abusive treatment of thousands of elephants exploited for entertainment. Caged elephants have shorter lifespans, behavioural issues, a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses, and a lower chance of reproducing.
In addition, most dolphins, for entertainment, are captive-bred and are in sterile tanks that are way too small in comparison to their natural habitat. It causes great pain to these creatures. Responsible travellers should avoid such tourist “experiences” as these are incredibly unnatural and stressful for animals.
Every “once in a lifetime” chance for a tourist—elephant rides, selfies with tigers, lion walks, monkey performances, swimming with dolphins—means a lifetime of pain for animals. Companies should ethically commit to protecting wildlife and ceasing amusement park sales and emphasise more on ethical, wildlife-friendly travel practices. And all travellers must work to not promote any animal cruelty through wildlife entertainment, as well.
Source Image Credit: World Wildlife Protection