As ABTA hosted its Crisis Management in Travel Conference, attendees faced a tidal wave of commotion outside the building. PETA supporters with signs reading “Stop Supporting Orca Abuse” and “ABTA: Cetacean Captivity Is a Crisis!” demanded that the travel association amend its policy regarding captive cetaceans.
PETA is calling on ABTA to add visits to facilities that exploit whales and dolphins for entertainment to its list of unacceptable practices.
What Is ABTA and Why Is PETA Protesting?
ABTA is a travel trade association. It rightly advises its members not to promote tourist activities such as bullfighting and elephant rides – but it doesn’t take a stand against dolphin and whale captivity.
Dolphins and Whales Deserve Better
All animals deserve respect. They aren’t selfie props or circus attractions.
Whales and dolphins are complex, highly intelligent animals who have their own language and culture. In the ocean, orcas can swim up to 150 miles a day. Imagine how they feel being imprisoned in cramped tanks for decades.
At marine parks, orcas are left to languish in concrete tanks about 10,000 times smaller than their natural home range. They may also be drugged with diazepam and other tranquilisers. At SeaWorld, 140 dolphins are packed into just seven tank s. Their water is chemically treated, and they’re forced to perform confusing tricks. Life in a marine park is no life at all.
The Travel Industry Is Changing
Travel giants Tripadvisor, Virgin Holidays, and British Airways Holidays refuse to promote facilities that imprison orcas, yet ABTA lags behind.
Its inaction gives ABTA members such as TUI justification to continue to profit from suffering by selling tickets to venues that confine sensitive, intelligent animals to cramped concrete tanks.
Stand Against Orca Captivity
Confining orcas to cramped tanks is a crisis that urgently needs to be resolved. It’s high time for ABTA to stop dragging its heels and join the majority of the travel industry by taking a stand against cetacean captivity.
Join PETA’s campaign to urge ABTA to revise its animal welfare guidelines and add facilities that exploit dolphins and whales, to its list of unacceptable practices.