Travel Agents Urged to Take a Stand Against Elephant Trekking

12 February 2016


Calum Proctor 0207 837 6327 ext 229; [email protected]


PETA Pens Letter to the Association of British Travel Agents Following Death of Trampled British Tourist

London – Following the death of a British tourist who was trampled and gored to death during an elephant trek in Thailand last week, PETA is calling on the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to take action now by adding elephant trekking to its list of “Unacceptable and Discouraged Practices” in its Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. PETA is also urging ABTA to call on its members to end affiliations with establishments promoting the cruel and dangerous practice.

“It’s time for the Association of British Travel Agents to look out for elephants and for the well-being of travelers who are unknowingly putting themselves at risk of serious injury or death”, says Senior Manager of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor. “That’s why PETA is asking the association to take a stand now, before anyone else is hurt.”

As PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – points out, elephants used by the tourism industry are often taken from their mothers as babies, confined to tiny wooden crates, deprived of food and rest, and tied down and beaten mercilessly with nail-studded rods in order to crush their spirit and prepare them for a life of servitude.

In nature, elephants stay in the company of family and friends and roam up to 30 miles a day, while those used by the tourism industry spend most of their lives chained by two legs. Handlers use bullhooks – weapons resembling fireplace pokers with a sharp steel hook on the end – to pull, prod and strike the elephants in order to maintain the fear and obedience instilled in them during the breaking process. It is not unusual for captive elephants to snap, turning on their captors and throwing tourists from their backs. What’s more, trekking also endangers public health, as elephants can carry the human form of tuberculosis, which is highly transmissible from elephants to humans.

PETA’s letter to ABTA is available by request. For more information, please visit