Audits of a number of captive animal facilities across Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico and Turkey by animals-in-tourism specialists Global Spirit have begun to bring about changes in the industry.
Among these are Thomas Cook Holidays’ announcement that they will cease selling tickets to certain wildlife attractions deemed to provide entertainment involving cruelty to animals, including dolphins and elephants.
Global Spirit found that 16 out of 25 attractions surveyed did not meet the minimum welfare standards for welfare laid out by ABTA. The company will complete a full audit of all 90 captive animal attractions sold by Thomas Cook at the latter’s behest. Among those to be dropped are Ocean World in the Dominican Republic, Sealanya in Turkey, Baan Chang Tours on Koh Samui, Thailand, and several attractions in India and Cuba.
A spokesperson for the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation states: “We are delighted Thomas Cook appears to be taking this issue seriously. Many other travel companies are not, and many facilities continue to flout the ABTA animal welfare guidelines.”
Virgin Holidays has also announced that it has ceased to sell or promote new shows and experiences featuring dolphins or whales.
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