Online travel giant, TripAdvisor is to stop the promotion of whale and dolphin captivity shows, a move that follows many months of positive dialogue between the company and WDC.
The news is the latest success for WDC’s tour operators campaign, which has targeted big travel industry names and challenged them to stop promoting this kind of cruelty.
Both British Airways and Virgin Holidays have recently announced that they will no longer be selling SeaWorld trips to customers – something we had repeatedly asked them to stop doing.
‘WDC has been talking to TripAdvisor for some time as part of our campaign to stop the tourist industry promoting whale and dolphin captivity shows’, says WDC End Captivity campaigner Cathy Williamson. ‘We have had great success with Virgin Holidays and British Airways stopping such promotions and so we are delighted with this bold and progressive welfare initiative from TripAdvisor. It sends out a clear message to the captive whale and dolphin industry that TripAdvisor will no longer work with any facility that doesn’t commit to phasing out this cruel and outdated practice.’
UK director of corporate communications at TripAdvisor, James Kay, said; ‘The advice and guidance we received from the team at Whale and Dolphin Conservation was invaluable as we sought to make an informed decision about whether we could continue to support attractions that keep captive cetaceans [whales and dolphins]’.
Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent. They can swim up to 100 miles a day, hunting and playing in the wild. In captivity they have very little space and cannot behave naturally. A concrete tank can never replace their ocean home.
WDC had also previously met with BA representatives to present scientific evidence that these creatures are not suited to life in tanks, and also presented over 300,000 public signatures to our petition asking the airline to stop selling the tickets that helped fund the cruel whale and dolphin captivity industry.
In addition, WDC’s campaign film, A letter to Richard Branson, made media headlines and has been watched by over 100,000 people on YouTube. An immediate instruction to Virgin Holidays by Sir Richard followed stopping work with any aquarium or theme park that continued to capture whales and dolphins from the wild or import whales and dolphins taken from the wild.
WDC has partnered with the SEA LIFE Trust to create the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland. It is hoped initiatives like this will encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales and dolphins into natural environments around the world, and one day help to bring an end to whale and dolphin entertainment shows.
Help us end whale and dolphin captivity.