The TreadRight Foundation has launched its updated Animal Welfare Policy, which guides The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) brands including Lion World, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Trafalgar, Costsaver, Contiki, and others when selecting wildlife experiences for their itineraries.
The policy provides greater detail to assist teams in vetting and assessing sanctuaries, private reserves and animal experiences around the world.
The work that TreadRight does in its Wildlife pillar, one of three pillars alongside Planet and People which identify TreadRight’s sustainable tourism initiatives, is focused on protecting and rehabilitating wildlife, as well as educating guests and travellers on ethical wildlife experiences.
Ensuring health & welfare of animals
TreadRight’s Animal Welfare Policy is designed to ensure the health and welfare of animals under human care, and to also act as a resource to empower TTC guests and travellers to make ethical decisions, by learning to identify the factors that are vital to the welfare of wild animals.
TreadRight encourages any TTC guest who witnesses animal mistreatment to email Animal.Welfare@TreadRight.org, and the TreadRight team will investigate immediately.
The updated policy, drafted in cooperation with World Animal Protection, is one of the first to use the latest science-based framework for assessing animal welfare, the Five Domains model: Nutrition, Environment, Health, Behaviour, and Mental or Affective State.
TreadRight’s partnership with World Animal Protection and its initial Animal Welfare Policy, based on The Five Freedoms, was developed in 2015 after TTC signed World Animal Protection’s Elephant-Friendly Tourism Pledge and ended all experiences that involved elephant rides and shows. Since then, more than 205 travel companies have committed to ending elephant rides and shows and TTC has committed to removing all experiences and venues from its itineraries that subject wildlife to any form of animal cruelty.
“Seeing wildlife in their natural habitat is a thrilling and life-changing experience that travellers seek out,” said Brett Tollman, global chief executive of The Travel Corporation. “Our goal is to continue to provide these unforgettable experiences for our guests, while ensuring we advocate for wild animals and their homes, so we can protect them for generations to come."
Included in the policy is guidance on: distinguishing between domestic and wild animals, unacceptable practices including riding wild animals, ethically viewing animals in the wild and in enclosures including zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres.
The full policy is available for download on TreadRight’s website.
TreadRight and TTC are committed to ensuring that all wildlife experiences on their trips meet this Animal Welfare Policy by 2021.