Travel Company Thomson Commits to Ending Elephant Treks

Posted by 9 months ago | Permalink | Comments (10)

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.

Elephant chains Thailand

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.


  • valerie gicquel commented on March 9, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    protect this elephant, stop to the cruelty of ours animals!!!

  • Sandie commented on March 13, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Hi, I have just signed up to PETA and reading over the website. Shocking!! What has happened to the elephant that killed the British tourist? Is he chained up or been taken off somewhere? I’ve read before about them being chained up for months and just want to know that this isn’t going to happen if PETA etc are on the case.

  • Mary Tierney commented on April 3, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Please stop this Disgusting/ cruel and totally barbaric treatment of such Beautiful animals – they are God’s gift to us – stop this abuse and stop people going to these places

  • Sandie commented on April 4, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    That’s great news going forward regarding the UK travel companies. What has happened to the elephant that killed the British tourist? Is it chained up or is care being taken to prevent Further continuous mistreatment?

  • dawn stephenson commented on April 8, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    These people are unintelligent savages and shouldn’t have access to any animals. Please help the elephants.

  • Sandra Le Montais commented on April 17, 2016 at 9:50 am

    This must be stopped, it is barbaric and cruel.
    People should know and be kept informed as to how these poor elephants are being treated in order for people to ride them. There is no excuse for cruelty to any animal. I would pay to be keep these elephant safe from being treated like this.

  • Wendy Jones commented on April 18, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Please end this evil brutality to elephants

  • Wendy Jones commented on April 18, 2016 at 7:25 am

    End this brutality now.

  • Rebecca Smith commented on April 19, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Just back from Thailand, and I wanted to go on a tour to the big Buddha etc. Part of this tour was the elephant trekking in Phuket, but I said I didn’t want to do that as it was cruel.

    So I waited while all the other idiot tourists went to trek around in a circle. I stood next to the baby and fed it all the bananas I could. As it was on its own. Away from its family. I was horrified to see the parents chained with no room to even take a step forward. I got very emotional and started crying and I couldn’t believe what I seen!
    People were looking at me as if to say what am I crying for?! and the Thai people too.
    It is good to see what happens with your own eyes as I know I’ll never put any money towards anything like that! but a lot of people don’t obviously know what happens behind closed doors…
    It doesn’t look like this will stop though as it is a business and it’s getting money – people just want money…

  • Lyn Withers commented on April 25, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Stop these selfish brutal, barbaric acts to these sensitive intelligent amazing animals. When you see them in the wild and how they interact as families you would NEVER ever condon anything else for them.

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