midiamimesTravel industry to influence higher welfare standards

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Poster from the event at the European ParliamentENDCAP welcomes new initiative by ABTA – The Travel Association.
Brussels, 18th June: Sustainable tourism leaders, MEPs and NGOs launched the innovative Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. The Guidance, developed by ABTA – The Travel Association, in consultation with leading  experts and industry representatives from across the world, aims to tackle  bad practice and improve animal welfare standards throughout all relevant sectors of the tourism industry.
Daniel Turner, spokesperson for Born Free Foundation, one of the organisations involved in the development of the Guidance, explained, “Animals are used in tourism activities across the world from viewing of animals in the wild; visiting zoos or dolphinariums; riding horses or elephants; buying a souvenir made from wildlife products.  Animal interactions are reportedly included in 60%  of tourism excursions.”
ABTA is the UK’s largest tourism-related trade association, representing around 1,200 travel businesses within the UK. ABTA Members promote and sell tourism packages throughout the world, many of which involve animals. The Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism, provide ABTA tour operators with a set of tools to enable them to assess their suppliers across the world and help them stamp out bad practices in animal welfare.
Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability, ABTA – The Travel Association, commented, “Born Free have been integral in helping shape and guide the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. Their knowledge and experience has been vital in developing solutions to enable good welfare and meaningful customer experiences.”
Common practices involving animals in tourism destinations, covered by the Global Welfare Guidance, include activities that have the potential to impose severe, negative impacts on the welfare of wild animals in captivity. Examples include:

  • the use of wild animals as props in souvenir photographs, (where lions, tigers, birds and reptiles are sometimes drugged, manipulated and occasionally have claws or teeth removed to reduce human safety risks);
  • animal performances based on unnatural behaviours and animal shows where training methods compromise welfare;
  • bullfighting, cockfighting and bear baiting;
  • the over-use and neglect of horses, donkeys, mules and other working animals
  • canned hunting, where captive-bred wild animals are shot for as trophies;
  • the sale of wildlife products, such as ivory, which stimulate poaching.

Will Travers OBE, CEO of the Born Free Foundation, said: “Concerned members of the public contact us in their thousands, distressed about what they often witness while on holiday. Now we have ABTA’s Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism  and the weight of the UK  travel industry to promote best practice, encourage higher standards in animal care and help phase-out some of the worst forms of animal exploitation quickly and effectively. I hope they will be adopted internationally.”
Further details here http://abta.com/news-and-views/press-zone/abta-launches-global-welfare-guidance-for-animals-in-tourism
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Author: ENDCAP