Good News! More Travel Companies Drop Elephant Rides
Progress! After hearing from PETA, Southall Travel and dnata Travel Group have dropped activities involving captive elephants. They join over 50 other companies – including Booking.com, British Airways Holidays, and Airbnb – in making the compassionate decision to cut ties with elephant abuse.
Southall Travel has removed all itineraries with direct-contact elephant activities in Asia, effective immediately. dnata Travel Group has also confirmed that its five UK businesses have stopped selling tickets to such activities:
“dnata Travel Group supports PETA’s mission to end the abuse suffered by elephants. In the coming weeks we will remove all promotion of elephant rides, bathing or activities where the elephant does not have the choice of ending the interaction or moving away. This applies to all of dnata Travel Group’s UK brands including Netflights, Travel Republic, Travelbag, and our trade-only businesses, Gold Medal and Travel 2.”
– John Bevan, CEO, dnata Travel Group
More and more tourists now know that riding elephants is wrong. Elephants are living, feeling beings who would never choose to entertain the public, and they suffer when forced to do so. Earlier this year, ABTA – the UK’s largest travel association – labelled direct contact between tourists and elephants “unacceptable”. The government is considering making it illegal for travel companies to promote elephant rides.
What’s Wrong With Elephant Rides?
Elephants’ spirits must be broken before they’ll allow humans to climb onto their backs. They’re trained as babies – forcibly separated from their mothers, tethered with ropes, starved, gouged with weapons, and beaten mercilessly for days or even weeks on end. Those who survive this process often develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Then they spend their lives in servitude, under the constant threat of punishment, often worked to exhaustion or death.
Elephant rides, selfies, bathing, and painting and other direct-contact activities can take place only as a result of this cruel training.
Lethal Incidents and Deadly Diseases
These activities also pose a danger to humans. There’s a long list of incidents in which tourists or handlers have been gored, trampled, or even killed. Tuberculosis, among the deadliest diseases in the world, is also transmissible between elephants and humans and has been documented in elephants throughout Asia.
Please, never ride an elephant or any other animal. When you book a trip abroad, ask your tour operator and hotel whether they promote such activities. If they do, explain why they should stop.
Please also urge the Indian minister of tourism to end the exploitation of elephants for rides: