Saturday, 29 June 2013

Animals being used as tourist props in Mexico

Call on Mexico to ban use of wild animals as tourist photo ‘props'

June 2013. The use of wild animals, such as lion, jaguar and tiger cubs for tourist photo ‘props' in resorts across Mexico should be outlawed to protect the animals, say three international wildlife charities. Care for the Wild International, Born Free Foundation (both UK) and FAADA Foundation (Spain), have united to petition the Mexican government to change the law following hundreds of complaints from tourists.

Tourists having photos taken with animals
Visitors to Cancun and other resorts are often confronted by people with young, cute animals with which they can have a photograph taken - for a fee. Some are told that the animals are ‘orphans', and that the money will go towards their care - but this is often far from the truth.

Taken from mothers at birth, drugged & mutilated
Most of the animals will have been taken away from their mothers at birth, they may be drugged, mutilated - teeth and claws removed - exploited on a daily basis then faced with an uncertain future when they are too old for photographs.

Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Care for the Wild, said: "Millions of animals around the world are used in tourism activities, including these. And like in this case, tourists often don't realise that by simply having a photograph taken, they are contributing to suffering and abuse. Through our website, we're aiming to get tourists to check first before they do something involving animals on holiday which they, or the animals, may regret."

Presented as conservation
Giovanna Costantini, from FAADA, said: "The most outrageous thing in Mexico is that these activities are presented as ‘conservation' by its organizers, who every year deceive thousands of tourists while seriously threatening the welfare of the animals involved. And this is something that FAADA through its Responsible Tourism campaign ( wants people to be aware of and wants authorities to ban as a matter of urgency."

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