UK charity Wild Welfare has officially partnered with specialist adventure tour operator Explore for the improvement of animal welfare practices within tourism. The partnership was solidified with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 3 February and comes after the two organisations have been collaborating to ensure animal welfare is always the priority. Wild Welfare has been undertaking a review of an extensive database of animal activities and working to improve the training of its staff and tour operators, as well as evaluating the Explore Animal Protection Policy.
Animal welfare should be a significant consideration when booking any kind of touristic activity, from being mindful of potential disturbance when viewing wild animals to understanding the impact of Animal-Human Interactions or animals used in entertainment. It can be difficult to figure out whether an activity compromises animal welfare or not. To combat this, Wild Welfare has created a guide to animal friendly tourism which highlights some of the things to consider when booking activities which may involve animals.
In 2021 Explore launched its Animal Protection Policy, with the aim of creating a set of guidelines to follow and plans for how they intend to monitor all wildlife experiences moving forward.
“We committed to reviewing all animal interactions in 2021 to understand how they stood in relation to our policy. We gave them a green, amber or red grading. Red experiences were shown to compromise animal welfare and were removed from our tours immediately, while activities graded green were confirmed to have no negative impact on animal welfare, and are therefore good places to visit. We needed Wild Welfare’s help with reviewing the amber list, with all the activities that were less clear cut” explained Hannah Methven, Sustainability Specialist at Explore.
On request, Wild Welfare reviewed 110 animal experiences that were either included or optional activities on Explore tours and classed as amber in the traffic light system. These experiences covered working animals, captive animals, market situations, and controlled animal feeding.
“Wild Welfare’s aim is to improve wild animal welfare standards around the world, using education as a primary tool. Partnering with Explore means we can reach so many more people and increase everyone’s understanding of why it’s important to respect the natural world and all life on the planet. We want people to enjoy their well-earned holiday time but not at the cost of an animal’s welfare.” Simon Marsh, Wild Welfare Director.
Wild Welfare is delighted to be partnering with Explore to support the implementation of the company’s animal welfare standards and is pleased to see that animal welfare is increasingly being prioritised within travel organisations.
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of Wild Welfare’s status as a leading, expert organisation in the improvements of animal welfare. The global reach of the charity spans more than 10 different countries with tourism activities such as elephant riding increasingly being included in the actions and research of the organisation. The charity works collaboratively with a number of facilities involved in tourism activities such as animal sanctuaries and zoological facilities to drive forward animal welfare standards and ensure that welfare is at the forefront of all decisions made.
Notes to Editors
For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore! Explore! is a UK-based travel company providing adventure holidays to destinations around the world.
Wild Welfare: Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By working together with animal welfare organisations and captive wildlife facilities, including zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries, we achieve long-term and sustainable solutions to the most critical issues facing wild animals in captivity.
Our vision is a world where every captive wild animal is able to thrive and live a good life. Find out more at: wildwelfare.org. Registered charity in England and Wales No.1165941.