TripAdvisor bans the sale of tickets to tourist attractions that breed or import whales, dolphins or porpoises
- TripAdvisor’s new policy on cetaceans will be in full force by the end of 2019
- Facilities that breed or import the animals for display will be pulled from site
- Conservation and animal welfare experts welcomed the move
TripAdvisor will no longer sell tickets or generate revenue from any attraction that continues to contribute to the captivity of future generations of whales, dolphins and porpoises, it has announced today.
As a result, any commercial facility that either breeds or imports cetaceans for public display will be banned from sale on TripAdvisor and Viator.
Tickets currently on sale and found to breach the new rules will be removed from the site over the next few months, with the policy in full force by the end of 2019. The new policy will not apply to seaside sanctuaries that provide care to cetaceans already in captivity.
TripAdvisor says it will no longer sell tickets to any commercial facility that either breeds or imports dolphins, whales or porpoises for public display (file picture)
The decision follows an extensive consultation process by TripAdvisor with a range of experts, including marine biologists, zoologists and conservationists, and it says it considered the scientific evidence and arguments presented from all sides.
Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor experiences and rentals, said: ‘The extensive evidence presented to us by the experts was compelling. Whales and dolphins do not thrive in limited captive environments, and we hope to see a future where they live as they should – free and in the wild.
‘We believe the current generation of whales and dolphins in captivity should be the last, and we look forward to seeing this position adopted more widely throughout the travel industry.’
Conservation groups and animal welfare experts welcomed the move as an important step forward.
Dr Naomi Rose, marine mammal scientist at Animal Welfare Institute, said: ‘TripAdvisor is on the right side of history.
‘Whales and dolphins cannot thrive in captivity and enlightened tourists no longer tolerate exploiting these intelligent and socially complex marine predators for human entertainment.’
While Nick Stewart, global head of wildlife and dolphins at World Animal Protection, added: ‘This sends a clear message to other travel companies that we must end this cruel industry once and for all.
Tickets currently on sale and found to breach the new rules will be removed from TripAdvisor over the next few months, with the policy in full force by the end of 2019
‘Together we can ensure this is the last generation of dolphins held captive for entertainment.’
TripAdvisor says its policy extension also takes into account that while it is possible to prevent future generations of cetaceans from a life of captivity, for those already in captivity, the situation is different.
It adds that for most of the current population of cetaceans, ‘release into the wild is not a realistic option. Therefore, the policy includes several stipulations aimed at protecting the needs, safety and health of cetaceans currently in captivity, too’.
Mr Halpin explained: ‘Our aim is not only to prevent future generations of whales and dolphins from being raised in captivity but also to encourage the industry to move towards alternative models, like seaside sanctuaries, that will better provide for the needs of the current captive population.
‘Seaside sanctuaries have enormous potential, but they need more backing from the tourism industry.
‘As long as facilities with captive whales and dolphins continue to profit from keeping these animals in smaller, cheaper and less natural living environments, then they don’t have enough incentive to adopt serious change. We hope our announcement today can help turn the tide.’
Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor experiences and rentals, said: ‘Whales and dolphins do not thrive in limited captive environments, and we hope to see a future where they live as they should – free and in the wild’
TripAdvisor says that its animal welfare policy, introduced in 2016, already commits it and its subsidiary brand Viator to no longer sell tickets to experiences where travellers come into physical contact with captive wild animals, such as elephant ride and tiger petting experiences.
The site says it was further enhanced in 2018, at which point it also banned ‘demeaning animal shows and performances’ from sale.
Earlier this year both British Airways and Virgin Holidays announced they too would be scrapping ticket sales to attractions that feature captive wild animals.
Holiday companies have been under pressure to axe visits to places where orcas are kept in captivity after a public backlash in 2013 following the release of the documentary Blackfish.
The film argued that orcas held in captivity become more aggressive towards humans and each other.
Source: Read Full Article
Seven romantic getaways – from chocolate resorts in St Lucia to rooftop infinity pools in Tenerife | The Sun
The best UK beaches to visit this weekend… including THIS hidden gem
Haven has seaside UK breaks from £12pp a night during the school summer holidays | The Sun
I'm an easyJet pilot – these are the scariest airports to land at | The Sun
The cheapest long-haul beach holidays this year – all-inclusive deals from £858pp | The Sun
The 'nicest' Wetherspoons in the UK is right next to the beach – and people rave about the amazing views | The Sun
The big airport mistakes that could cost you more than £90 this summer – and how to avoid them | The Sun
I had a day out in Italy for just £52 – including flights, wine, pizza and souvenirs | The Sun