People, Travel

Travel Industry Urged to Fight Animal Cruelty

Travel Industry Urged to Fight Animal Cruelty
Travel Industry Urged to Fight Animal Cruelty

On World Animal Day (Oct. 4), World Animal Protection announced the amplification of its global movement to reduce tourist demand for cruel animal entertainment attractions.

Its latest, the Elephant-Friendly Tourist Pledge, petitions the travel industry to stop promoting and selling elephant rides and shows.

Although a popular tourist activity, elephant rides are the consequence and cause of immense suffering for the animals. Taken from their mothers when young, elephant calves are isolated, starved and beaten until their spirits are broken in a barbaric training method known as “the crush”, PRNewswire reported.

These baby elephants often suffer from bloody wounds inflicted during these beatings, and the great trauma they endure stays with them throughout their lives, and can leave them suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A total of 63 travel companies across the world have committed to stop selling elephant rides and shows following World Animal Protection approaches. This includes The Travel Corporation, which features major brands Contiki Holidays and Trafalgar.  

G Adventures, the world’s largest small-group adventure travel company, has also made this commitment.

Kate Nustedt, director for wildlife at World Animal Protection, says, “We have made progress, but some of the best known names in the travel industry are still behind the curve on animal welfare and appear unwilling to end the promotion of cruel elephant rides in all their markets.

“We’re eager for the chance to work with the industry on solutions that not only put a stop to cruel elephant rides and shows, but also ensure that tourists can enjoy seeing elephants in the wild.”

World Animal Protection launched its campaign Wildlife, Not Entertainers in August 2015, and over 70,000 people have already joined the movement to protect wild animals and stop them being abused in entertainment such as circuses.