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Travel associations ‘turning a blind eye’ to cruel wildlife attractions like elephant rides and tiger selfies, say campaigners

According to another analysis, more than 550,000 captive wild animals including elephants, sloths, tigers and dolphins are being kept in poor conditions around the world for tourists’ entertainment.

JOSH GABBATTIS: ‘Cruel attractions like elephant rides, tiger selfies and dolphin aquariums are not being tackled by the world’s leading travel associations, according to wildlife campaigners. New research has revealed the majority of trade associations whose members include top travel agencies and tour guides are doing nothing to prevent harmful practices. Even among those taking action, World Animal Protection (WAP) said their recommendations were often vague and lacked enforcement mechanisms…

In the University of Surrey study supporting these claims, 62 travel trade associations from Australia to Zimbabwe were assessed. Only six were communicating anything to their members about animal welfare, and of those only two associations and one tourism standard setting body had welfare guidelines as part of their sustainability programmes… Despite its relatively prominent position, WAP said industry-leader ABTA must do more to eliminate cruel practices – introducing firm guidelines that class activities like elephant riding as unacceptable and ensuring these measures are enforced.

According to another analysis, more than 550,000 captive wild animals including elephants, sloths, tigers and dolphins are being kept in poor conditions around the world for tourists’ entertainment… Of the associations assessed, the researchers found 16 were actually using promotional pictures interacting with tourists in their promotional materials. “This is a systematic problem that needs to be addressed to ensure wild animals are not used for cruel tourist entertainment,” said Nick Stewart, head of the Wildlife Not Entertainers programme at World Animal Protection’. SOURCE…

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