Expedition Providers Association ends sale of tickets to cruel wildlife attractions

08 November 2017

The Expedition Providers Association (EPA), a travel trade association, has committed to ban from its code of conduct sightseeing activities and venues that feature cruelty to animals, including some of the world’s cruellest wildlife tourist attractions.

The EPA consists of 15 members who will all be making the change for animals and implementing animal welfare guidelines developed with World Animal Protection. 

World’s cruellest attractions

Elephant riding, tiger selfies and performing dolphins are all attractions the EPA has ruled out. Wild animals used in entertainment are often taken from their mothers when babies, forced through cruel training processes to make them submissive enough to be handled and often kept in cruel conditions.

Most tourists sign up for experiences with wildlife because they love animals and don’t know about the cruelty behind the rides, tricks and photo opportunities. If people knew the facts, then they wouldn’t participate in cruel activities.

Tourists pose for photos with captive tigers at Million Year Stone Park, Thailand. Credit Line: World Animal Protection

Industry changing

Chiara Vitali, Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection said, “It is fantastic news for wild animals that EPA has moved to become fully animal friendly. The industry is increasingly waking up to the cruelty inherent in activities such as elephant riding, tiger selfies and performing dolphins. We call on the rest of the industry to follow their lead and ask everyone to email their tour operator to ask them to go animal friendly if they haven’t already.

“This is another important step towards ending these cruel attractions and highlighting the cruelty endured by wild animals for tourist entertainment.”

Alistair Cole, CEO of the Expedition Providers Association said, “We recognise that animal cruelty in travel tourism must stop and are committed to ensuring that members do not encourage such activity, alongside educating the young people participating on our expeditions.”

Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) in Thailand rescues elephants which have been used in the entertainment industry. Credit Line: World Animal Protection

More travel companies need to act

Despite the large number of tour operators that have ended sales, there are still several travel companies that are yet to commit to ending elephant rides and other cruel elephant entertainment, such as Trailfinders, Scott Dunn and The Ultimate Travel Company in the UK.

For more information download our animal friendly tour operators here and find the right one for your holiday. You can also see our guide to being an animal friendly tourist here.

Are you a travel company looking to join our movement? We want to hear from you. Find out how you can help lead the travel industry to protect wildlife here.

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