Travel Company Thomson Commits to Ending Elephant Treks
Good news for elephants: another travel company has promised to stop promoting activities for which these sensitive wild animals are held captive, beaten and forced to perform tricks or carry tourists on their backs.
After we got in touch with concerns about how elephants suffer for the tourism industry in countries such as Thailand, we were delighted when Thomson replied with confirmation that as part of the TUI Group – which also includes First Choice holidays – the company has already abolished elephant shows and is phasing out all elephant excursions over the course of this year.
This is an ethical decision and follows in the footsteps of other travel companies that have banned elephant rides, including STA Travel, Intrepid Travel and G Adventures.
There’s only one way to force elephants to perform tricks and give rides – through beatings and the constant threat of violence. Many tourists have no idea that the elephant they’re sitting on was probably forcibly separated from his or her mother as a baby, immobilised, beaten and gouged with nails in a process designed to break the elephant’s spirit. For the rest of their lives, these miserable animals are kept chained up when they’re not lugging tourists around and are often beaten with painful bullhooks.
The death of a British tourist during an elephant trek in February highlighted that treating powerful, intelligent animals in this way is dangerous for humans, too.
If you see any other travel companies promoting elephant treks, please contact them and ask them to adopt a more responsible policy as Thomson is planning to do. Reducing demand for these unethical excursions will help save elephants from being abused in this horrific industry.