HoT against animal cruelty

HoT against animal cruelty

House of Travel this month signed World Animal Protection’s elephant-friendly tourism pledge, committing not to sell, offer or promote venues or activities involving elephant rides and shows.
House of Travel marketing director Ken Freer says tourists often want to experience wild animals when on holiday,  especially in places such as Asia and Africa, but sometimes don’t realise the animals can suffer hidden cruelty so they can interact with people.

‘Wildlife can be part of the experience of travel, much like food and culture, but it can be hard for tourists to know what is happening to animals at tourist attractions behind closed doors.
Freer says research shows 53% of elephant venues in Thailand do not even meet the basic needs of captive elephants.
‘As travel advisers, we feel it is our duty not to offer products we know are only available because of cruelty to elephants.’
Freer says a number of staff members are very passionate about the company taking a stand on the topic.
‘We want our customers to know that elephant attractions they book with us have been approved by World Animal Protection as having commendable animal welfare standards – keeping the captive wild elephants in satisfactory conditions with their best interests at the forefront of their practices,’ he says.
‘From today, we commit to only offering elephant experiences with a high standard of elephant welfare and conservation, with responsible viewing of elephants in wild or semi-wild habitats.’
The pledge is the first step for House of Travel in working with World Animal Protection to protect wild animals used in tourism.
‘Going forward, we will continue to work with World Animal Protection  to find ways to provide responsible, animal-friendly tourism options for our customers. This is something we feel passionately about as a business and we will continue to look for opportunities to promote animal welfare through the product we sell to New Zealanders.’

ProMag Publishing