Deborah Meaden to ABTA: Marine Parks Are Unacceptable!

Deborah Meaden to ABTA: Marine Parks Are Unacceptable!

Entrepreneur Joins PETA in Calling On UK’s Largest Travel Association

London – Investor and Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden fired off a letter on PETA’s behalf to Chief Executive Mark Tanzer of travel association ABTA urging him to add visits to marine parks, which confine sensitive cetaceans in unsuitable conditions, to its list of unacceptable practices.

“The more we learn about these complex and highly intelligent animals, the more abhorrent their captivity for human entertainment looks,” Meaden writes. “The evidence is clear: whales and dolphins, whether wild-born or captive-bred, do not – and cannot – thrive in captivity.”

In her letter, Meaden notes that ABTA has listed direct contact between elephants and tourists as an “unacceptable” practice since 2019 and asks that cetaceans receive the same consideration. Orcas in nature, she writes, form complex relationships, traverse up to 140 miles of ocean each day, and live in close family groups that share a culture and language. But at marine parks like SeaWorld, the animals are housed in cramped tanks in incompatible groups and denied everything that’s natural to them.

Following talks with PETA, a long list of companies have stopped promoting SeaWorld, including Your Co-op Travel, British Airways Holidays, Virgin Holidays, STA Travel, Premier Holidays, and TripAdvisor.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. Meaden’s letter to ABTA is available here. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]