TTC Special: Animal tourism cruelty under the crosshairs

By Frank Martin
International tourism organizers are increasingly concerned about a problem that perhaps still goes unnoticed in many parts of the world: the so-called animal tourism with overtones of cruelty.
Elephant rides, very evident and promoted, and other less visible ones such as flamingos in the Caribbean with their wings cut so they do not escape, drunk pigs, fake elephant sanctuaries in Thailand and other practices are in the sights of those who want treatment improvements in the elephant tourismo exhibion.
In contrast, sites for the natural conservation of sea turtles, deer in nature reserves, cetaceans sightings considered ethical, flamingos in flight in migration situations, and primates and felines rescued from illegal trafficking of species are “well viewed.”
A comparison between what is unwanted for the animal world and what can be enjoyed without regret from that environment because it is without harm to animals proves to specialists that more controls in this aspect may not going to ruin world tourism.
That is why in various places in the world they have begun to apply measures to achieve greater respect for the life and normality of the members of the Animal Kingdom.
For example, in Great Britain a new law has been approved that aims to protect animals used in tourism.
This will allow the government to enforce a ban on selling or promoting certain specific types of wildlife tourism.
Decisions around the planet in this regard are increasing.
All of them are centered on avoiding harsh and, furthermore, cruel treatment of animals. Despite their size and the power given to them, one of the most abused beings is the elephant.
The methods used to train a pachyderm are especially irresistible to the animal in Asia, analysts of the matter have determined. They have come to be used in soccer games with human players riding on them.
“We know that some foreign tourist attractions often subject majestic animals such as elephants to cruel and brutal training methods,” said UK Animal Welfare Minister Lord Benyon.
“The British Animals Act is an important step in our commitment to ensuring high standards of animal welfare both here in this country and abroad,” he said.
Additionally exposed to these abuses are, according to reports, hundreds of thousands of animals, suffering in 24 wildlife tourist attractions around the world, including tigers, lions, dolphins and so-called turtle farms.
Criticism of tourist searches that ignore cruelty to animals is growing.
Specialists believe that the situation could be rectified by stricter regulation, without affecting pleasant shows that respect the protagonist, the animals.
In Colombia, for example, recently a renowned artist Carmen Villalobos called on tourists to “not be part of animal abuse.”
She even asked that photographs with animals in captive conditions stop.
Animal sterilization and rescue campaigns can be defeated in their objectives when they can be extracted from their ecosystem to obtain profits by using them as an exotic attraction for tourists.
Elephants, cetaceans and many more, including monkeys and birds, suffer the same from erroneous practices.