Published on : Monday, April 3, 2017
In a recent assessment, Global Spirit found that 16 sites in the world who display shows with animals do not meet the minimum standards for the welfare of animals as prescribed by ABTA. As mentioned in Sunday Times, Thomas Cook has stopped selling tickets to those places.
Last year, 25 inspections were carried out and are yet to audit 90 captive animal attractions that the operator sells. Though Thomas Cook did not mention individual attractions which failed to meet animal welfare infringement but the one’s which were dropped include Ocean World in the Dominican Republic and Sealanya in Turkey. Both of them offer dolphin swimming experiences and shows. Of the 16 attractions affected by the report, 11 involved dolphins and 5 involved elephant shows.
To quote Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook group chief executive, ‘Our industry has not changed fast enough. By taking these attractions off sale, we are sending a message that we won’t accept anything less than full compliance with the welfare standards our customers would expect.’ Many animal welfare groups who have long campaigned against captive animal tourism have welcomed this decision whole-heartedly. To quote Charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation, ‘We are delighted Thomas Cook appears to be taking this issue seriously. Many other travel companies are not, and many facilities continue to flout the ABTA animal welfare guidelines.”