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Published on : Friday, July 29, 2016
They have revealed the horrific abuse suffered by the captive tigers at the hands of Thailand’s tiger tourism industry.
It reveals a fast-growing industry with a third more captive tigers in Thailand in just five years.In 2015, and at the beginning of 2016, there were 830 tigers in the country’s entertainment venues. This compares to 623 in 2010.
The report also mentions that the captive tigers are being mistreated as part of the process to make them submissive enough to entertain tourists. They are being forced to live under terrible conditions.
The main welfare concerns witnessed by the investigators at Thai tourist venues are:
Among the destinations that they have investigated, Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Pattaya has the highest number of captive tigers. This place also has the poorest conditions in which tigers are kept.
Julie Middelkoop, head of Wildlife – Not Entertainers campaign, said that, it is very worrying that at the time of their research there were 207 more tigers subjected to the misery of being entertainment for tourists than there were five years ago.
To stop the cruelty against the tigers at these tourist places, World Animal Protection has urged the governments to investigate tiger entertainment venues and close down those showing evidence of illegal trade, cruelty or neglect.
It has also urged TripAdvisor and other travel companies to end the sales and promotion of cruel wildlife attractions. They have also advised travellers to stay away from any wildlife tourist entertainment venues that allow direct human-animal interaction, such as hugging and selfies with tigers.
Following the report, TripAdvisor issued the following statement:
“The role of animals in tourism is a highly complex issue involving a variety of stakeholders with diverse points of view. TripAdvisor takes this issue seriously. Currently, there is no universally agreed upon criteria by which to assess animal welfare practices, and no feasible means by which an online resource like ours could centrally audit such practices around the globe. While it is the responsibility of national governments and local regulatory bodies to monitor businesses in their respective jurisdictions, TripAdvisor recognises that the travel and tourism community can be a positive catalyst for change.
“We are committed to exploring this in a thoughtful and responsible manner to protect animal welfare, while serving the needs of our TripAdvisor community, promoting sustainable tourism, and respecting the economic interests of the reputable partners who make their living in this area. TripAdvisor is committed to working constructively with leaders in the animal protection, welfare and conservation space who are open to finding reasonable and scalable solutions. This is a process that deserves thoughtful and deliberate consideration.”