Selfie or Selfish? Our Stance on Animal Welfare

3 mins read
Close up image of a tigers eye
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As you already know, travel is an awesome pastime. You can discover new places, different cultures and more than likely find your new favourite dish from the local culinary tradition.

But, part of all of the above can include getting up close to wildlife, and sometimes our furry friends aren’t best pleased with us for doing so.

So, whilst your safety is top of our list when organising your group trip, the welfare of the animals you may come across is a close second.

Where We Stand on Animal Welfare

We’re proud to not promote or organise any excursions involving animals classified as unacceptable or with discouraged practices according to  ABTA’s ‘Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism Best Practice Handbook’.

This means we offer no excursions with animals in captive attractions, such as circus shows with non-natural behavioural performances, cultural events or those involving free-roaming wild animals where there’s human-initiated physical interaction.

With that said, we offer excursions involving horse riding, camel riding and certified centres including zoos and conservation centres or sanctuaries – but only when we’ve evaluated them on the basis of the ‘Five Freedoms’, which are included in the UK government’s Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Don’t Be Fooled – the Selfie can Be Selfish

Take a selfie with a tiger! Swim with dolphins! Ride an elephant!  These are common signs you’ll see around the world in a bid to lure you in. But what you don’t see are the unnatural undertones behind these activities.

Tigers can be drugged to remain ‘relaxed’, dolphins may be kept in captivity and elephants are often controlled using bull hooks and are in pain from bearing heavy loads for long periods of time. Which is why the selfie isn’t worth it.

Even what appear to be innocent activities, like feeding or bathing, can lead to an unnatural, unhealthy and unhappy lifestyle. It’s too much of one thing that causes more harm than good.

Plus, we don’t know how animals are treated, or the conditions they’re kept in, in places where we haven’t evaluated them.

So, to avoid a visiting a place that encourages a potential cycle of cruelty, we advise you not to participate.

Help Keep Wild Animals, Wild

They’re called wild animals for a reason, but tourism can play a part in taking that away.

So, by choosing us as your tour operator, who don’t offer any excursions that exploits animals, you’re helping to create less of a demand for such activities.

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Venture Abroad

Over 45 years of creating international trips for uniformed groups

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