Travel company Expedia has stopped selling trips that feature captive dolphins and whales.
In recent years, there have been increasing calls, including from the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Johnson, to ban attractions and experiences involving captive sea creatures.
Announcing the decision on Twitter, the company said, “We recently adjusted our animal welfare policy. As a result, attractions and activities involving performances or interactions with dolphins and other cetaceans will no longer be available on our sites. “
He also specifies on the Expedia website that “seaside sanctuaries which offer captive animals a permanent living environment by the sea are authorized if they are accredited and do not present interactions or performances”.
Activists hope other companies will follow. Virgin Holidays announced in 2019 that it would no longer sell tickets for such attractions and experiences.
Katheryn Wise, World Animal Protection Charity, said: “This is amazing news and something we’ve been campaigning for since 2019. We’re so glad they listened.
“Travel companies play a huge role in entertaining captive dolphins and as one of the world’s largest travel companies, we are delighted that the Expedia Group is taking a stand. It’s time for the other travel giants… to do the right thing and follow suit.
The PA Media news agency reported that the company intends to implement the policy by early 2022. “We are giving our suppliers 30 days to comply with the updated policy or deal with it. to the deletion of the site, ”Expedia said.
The last captive dolphin attraction in the UK closed in 2003, but people can still travel overseas for the activities. There are over 3,000 dolphins held captive in tourist entertainment venues around the world.
The company also said it does not allow “intentional physical contact with wild and exotic animals, which include, but are not limited to dolphins, whales, cetaceans, elephants, felines, bears, reptiles and primates ”, and does not sell activities either. involving exotic pet cafes, restaurants and traveling zoos.
Travel agencies are increasingly moving away from unethical animal attractions. Intrepid Travel sparked a domino effect among other businesses when it ceased all elephant riding activities in 2014.
The travel association Abta updated its animal welfare guidelines in January 2020 to classify activities with captive elephants and tourist contact or feeding of great apes, bears, crocodiles or alligators. , orcas, sloths and feral cats as unacceptable.