Are you an animal-friendly tour operator, travel agent or marketing organisation with a focus on travel? More and more tourists now expect their holidays to be ‘responsible’ and ethical – and that certainly applies to the animals and wildlife they come across.We receive many complaints from people that their tour operator took them or sent them to a place or activity where they then witnessed some form of animal cruelty. Many people want to ensure this doesn’t happen by travelling with an animal-friendly tour company.
So is your tour company/travel agent/excursion animal-friendly? The RIGHT-tourism website includes lots of information to help you ensure you are. But the quick way to ensure you are doing things the RIGHT way is to take the RIGHT-tourism Pledge. If you follow these five points, then you will be well on the way to being an animal-friendly tour operator:
The Animal-friendly Pledge – Operators
We pledge not to sell tours or activities which encourage our customers to:
- Attend a performance in which animals are forced to perform in a non-natural way
- Includes behaviours which have been taught to the animal through force, or ‘negative-reinforcement’ such as food deprivation or isolation.
- Includes performances which are by their nature dangerous to perform, such as riding a bicycle or walking on a tightrope
- Does not include behaviours taught through ‘positive’ training techniques for the animal’s enrichment, or for veterinary access
- Have their photo taken holding a wild animal in inappropriate circumstances
- Includes when the animal has been removed from the wild leading to suffering
- Includes when the animal is either forced or restrained to allow tourists to interact with them
- Includes when the animal could pose a danger to tourists, is not supervised by trained staff or is displayed in an inappropriate venue
- View animals in the wild in a way which causes harm or distress
- Includes getting too close causing stress or behaviour change
- Includes inappropriately large or unmanaged groups behaving irresponsibly, eg too much noise or leaving litter
- Includes disrespectful or aggressive behaviour towards the animals
- Includes ivory and rhino horn products
- Includes Traditional Chinese Medicine or similar where endangered species such as lion, tiger or pangolin, parts are suspected to have been used.
- Does not include Bushmeat, as long as it is not known or suspected to have come from an endangered species
- Take part in tourist animal experiences without being given the chance to withdraw
- Includes offering alternatives, where possible, if tourists do not wish to partake in a particular activity
Most Recent Operators/Travel Agents/Marketing Organisations to Sign:
Are you involved in the tourism industry? Do you or your customers have any interaction with animals? If so, please sign up to this pledge by contacting us now!