Friday, 30 May 2014

Australian tour operator bans elephant rides in Asia

Elephant rides have been banned by the Australian tour operator, Intrepid Travel, on all of its trips. the decision follows three years of research, carried out by WSPA, assessing the welfare of captive elephants at entertainment venues in Asia. 

WSPA Senior Wildlife and Veterinary Advisor, Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach said: "Wild animals belong in the wild – not in entertainment. We welcome all progress within the tourism industry towards recognising this fact and taking action to prevent cruelty. 

"Helping people to understand the choices they can make whilst travelling can create positive experiences for them and for the animals that they encounter along the way. 

"We urge all tour operators to support animal friendly tourism and to help every customer make animal-friendly choices when travelling."

Demand from tourists has led venues to force elephants to work for them and behave unnaturally. WSPA research concludes that this causes pain and suffering to the elephants, and that the tourism industry has added to the number of elephants being poached from the wild.

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