A travel company in the UK has made a promise to drop zoos from its promotion itinerary, laying an outline for the types of animal facilities it pledges to work with in the future.
As per the company, Responsible Travel, they believe there is not a justifiable reason to hold animals in captivity. The announcement they made regarding this was supported by the Born Free Foundation, as well as Joanna Lumley, animal welfare campaigner and actress.
MSN reported that the travel company placed four points around this announcement: animal welfare issues have been long recognized; there are a plethora of other ways to educate the public about animals where keeping them in captivity is not needed; despite the fact that there are zoos that fund important conservation programs, overall, they only spend a mere three percent when it comes to conservation; and approximately 90% of zoo animals do not hold an endangered designation.
To date, the company has taken off six zoo-visit trips off their website. It is currently undertaking a thorough audit of all captive animal places within trips that are sold from their agency, which Responsible Travel states incorporates a big part of itineraries they provide worldwide. They are conducting this audit to ensure that the trips they offer comply with the new guidelines outlined.
The company still plans on promoting rescue centers and animal sanctuaries that are legitimate when it comes to animals that cannot be released back into their natural habitat. They are also keeping animal rehab centers on their lists, as long as captive breeding does not occur. It also plans on keeping any legitimate endangered species conservation facilities.
Responsible Travel employs 375 tour operators around the globe and is the first agency to make a strong stance of this nature against zoos.
In other news, this past February, Virgin Holidays took a stand, promising it would not promote or sell new hotels or attractions that hold dolphins or whales in captivity for entertainment reason; despite the fact that it still does sell approximately 30 attractions that still do the above. In October 2015, TripAdvisor stated it would stop selling tickets for certain experiences where visitors could interact with animals that are captive (i.e. petting tigers, elephant rides, or swimming amongst dolphins).