“We are cognisant of the fact that TripAdvisor implemented an Animal Welfare Policy in 2016 which was updated in 2018. Included in this policy was a guideline not to sell tickets for shows and performances in which animals are forced to perform demeaning tricks or unnatural behaviours.”
In 2019 TripAdvisor consulted with a number of scientists, including ethologist, behavioural biologist and PREN member Dr Toni Frohoff, with the objective to expand the TripAdvisor Animal Welfare Policy to end commercial relationships with facilities that breed or import captive whales and dolphins.
The government of the United Kingdom is presently reviewing the Animals Abroad Bill. The Bill has passed a second reading and is currently undergoing a detailed review. If the Bill passes, the sale and advertisement of activities which include low standards of welfare for animals will be prohibited. The Bill is enjoying widespread and high-profile public support. A petition by the Save the Asian Elephant organisation, also a member of PREN, was supported by 1.1 million signatures.
Members of PREN believe that this is an excellent opportunity for TripAdvisor to update their Animal Welfare Policy by removing activities which provide for low standards of welfare for animals and in doing so comply with the most up-to-date international legislation.
Members of PREN who have supported this submission have highlighted the cruel treatment of Elephants in Kerala.
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PREN members have recommended in their submission that TripAdvisor should not advertise facilities that are exploiting elephants in Kerala but should instead, focus on promoting places where elephants can be viewed in their natural environment, in large parks, reserves and accredited elephant sanctuaries.
PREN members acknowledge the important role that TripAdvisor can play in promoting positive change, by setting higher standards in tourism and by persuading countries with inadequate animal welfare policies to introduce regulations for the protection and compassionate treatment of those animals involved in the tourism sector.
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