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Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism

ABTA, the UK Travel Association, has launched a significant report entitled “Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism”. Initially for use for ABTA members, the tour operators Thomas Cook, TUI, Virgin Holidays and Cosmos, the guidance provides the first ever global guidelines on animal welfare for the tourism industry.

Animal attractions such as dolphinaria, featuring captive dolphins performing in circus-style shows, and “posing” for photographs with tourists or swimming with them, are popular with holidaymakers. But on their return home, many holidaymakers contact their tour operators or organisations such as WDC with their concerns about the places they have visited and the welfare of the animals they have seen or interacted with. ABTA’s initiative aims to address some of those concerns, by providing, among other things, specific guidance for tour operators, tourist boards in holiday destinations and other sectors of the tourism industry, on health, welfare and conditions concerning animal attractions promoted by the industry.

WDC hopes it will be strictly adhered to by ABTA members and others and provide a first step towards an end to tour operator promotion of facilities holding and displaying captive whales and dolphins to international tourists.

About Cathy Williamson

Cathy Williamson was policy manager of our End Captivity Programme until July 2021.