After learning from PETA France how animals used in tourist attractions suffer both physically and psychologically, French travel provider Club Med has just released a new animal welfare guide detailing plans to stop promoting backpack rides. elephant, cruel whale and dolphin displays, bullfights and photo ops with animals.
Taking effect in August, the policies also include a ban on fur in the company’s shops and recommendations for sterilization surgeries in countries with large populations of homeless animals.
Advice is also included on deterrence – rather than murder – mosquitoes, showing consideration for the smallest animal with whom we share the planet.
A growing trend
Club Med joins a long list of companies – including British Airways Holidays, Your Co-op Travel, Virgin Holidays, Premier Holidays, Booking.com and TripAdvisor – that have adopted progressive animal welfare policies and ceased promote cruel activities, including elephant rides and trips to the navy abuseparks lie.
What’s wrong with attractions that use animals?
Unlike happy Club Med travelers, animals used for entertainment never have the opportunity to relax or share special moments with their loved ones.
In the wild, dolphins form complex relationships and traverse tens of kilometers of ocean every day. Yet parks like Sea World confine them to cramped, chemically treated tanks, deprived of opportunities to display natural behavior or do anything important to them.
The big cats used for tourist selfies typically live in sterile cages, and many are either killed or sold to shoddy roadside zoos when they get too big for photo ops.
The elephant ride operators beat the elephants to subdue them. Attackers break elephants’ morale in order to force them to perform silly tricks, take tourists for rides, or allow humans to interact with them.
How can you make a difference?
The best thing you can do for animals used and abused in the tourism industry is to vote with your wallet. This means never visiting a marine park or any other attraction that holds animals in tanks or cages. Without consumer support, these attractions would not exist.