UK’s Largest Travel Association Labelled Direct Contact Between Tourists and Elephants “Unacceptable”
ABTA – the UK’s largest travel association – has updated its Animal Welfare Guidelines and labelled direct contact between tourists and elephants “unacceptable”.
The ABTA guidelines are circulated among all member tour operators and travel agents, and encourage all travel companies not sell any attractions in which tourists ride or bathe the animals.
Feeding great apes, crocodiles, sloths, orcas, alligators, or bears – as well as feeding, contact with, or walking with wild cats – has also been deemed “unacceptable” by the association.
What’s Wrong With Elephant Rides?
Many tourists don’t know about the misery that elephants go through before being used to give rides. The only way these wild animals can be made to follow commands from humans is through violence and intimidation.
Baby elephants are removed from their mothers, restrained, and beaten in order to force them to obey their captors out of fear. They typically spend the rest of their lives in chains, except when they’re carrying holidaymakers around or being beaten with bullhooks.
ABTA joins a long list of companies that refuse to support the exploitative animal tourism industry. From British Airways to Virgin Holidays to Airbnb, more and more businesses are turning their backs on cruel animal “attractions” by cutting ties with SeaWorld, other captive-animal displays, and more.
What You Can Do
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.
All animals are living, feeling beings who would never choose to entertain the public, and they suffer when forced to do so. Please urge the Indian minister of tourism to end the exploitation of elephants for rides: