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The good, the bad and the ugly of captive wildlife tourism

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Jane Edge of Fair Trade speaking at WTM Africa

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The good, the bad and the ugly of captive wildlife tourism

  1. 1. The mark of a good holiday Captive Wildlife Tourism The good, the bad and the ugly Presented by Jane Edge Fair Trade Tourism
  2. 2. The mark of a good holiday Wildlife tourism: massive & growing The global tourism sector saw 1,3 billion tourists in 2017. This will grow to 1.8 billion by 2030. 20-40% of tourists want to view wildlife. 18,6 million tourists visited Africa in 2017 alone. Few tourists will have the opportunity to view wildlife in the wild. Cost and access preclude them. For most tourists, their wildlife experience will be captive. The captive wildlife industry is massive and growing. It will not go away.
  3. 3. The mark of a good holiday What is the Issue? 71% of tourists say they want to buy holidays from companies that care for animals. Yet Every year 2-4 million tourists support attractions that aren’t good for animal welfare or conservation. 80% of tourists can’t see the negative impact a wildlife attraction has on animal welfare. There are few regulations governing the sector, and no industry norms and standards.
  4. 4. The mark of a good holiday Types of Captive Wildlife Attractions Oxford University’s Wildcru Research Unit puts captive wildlife attractions into 4 categories: 1. Interactions with captive animals –eg. elephant back riding, encounters with big cats 2. Sanctuaries - whose main purpose is to help and protect wild animals 3. Wildlife farms – eg. commercial crocodile and ostrich farms 4. Performances – eg. snake charming, bear dancing, circuses But in South Africa captive wildlife attractions are FAR more complicated. “Captive facilities describe themselves as sanctuaries, farms, parks, breeding centres, educational centres, rehabilitation centres, orphanages and zoos. There is no common categorisation and the public is unable to distinguish a commercial enterprise from a genuine conservation breeding facility or sanctuary. This enables some facilities to elicit funds from visitors who believe they are donating money for conservation while the facility trades in the animals that tourists are asked to fund.“ Endangered Wildlife Trust
  5. 5. The mark of a good holiday Captive wildlife in numbers 4 million Number of annual visitors to SeaWorld San Diego 16,000 Number of elephants in captivity worldwide – versus 450,000 in the wild in Africa. 8,000 Number of lions kept and bred in captivity in South Africa – double the number of those in the wild or in managed reserves. 5,000 Number of captive tigers in the US – versus just 3,200 globally in the wild. 1,600 Number of bottlenose dolphins used for entertainment worldwide. 600 Number of cheetah in captivity in South Africa – versus 1200 – 1700 cheetah in the wild or in managed reserves.
  6. 6. The mark of a good holiday Urgent need for industry guidelines In developing guidelines around captive wildlife facility, Fair Trade Tourism has looked at four aspects: 1. Animal welfare - adequate food & water, freedom from pain & injury, ability to behave normally, level of stress. 2. Human safety 3. Conservation Benefit 4. Transparency “If you can ride it, hug it, or have a selfie with the wild animal, the chances are it is a cruel venue. Do not go.” World Animal Protection Charity
  7. 7. The mark of a good holiday Best Practice From a conservation and animal welfare perspective Fair Trade Tourism considers the following best practice: Genuine wildlife sanctuaries - where un-releasable animals live out their lives, there is no breeding or trading, or human-animal contact. Wildlife rehabilitation centres - where injured or abandoned animals are treated for release, and where contact is limited to trained personnel or volunteers.
  8. 8. The mark of a good holiday Fair practice Fair Trade Tourism would certify the following, subject to compliance with its overall 230 criteria. • Captive wildlife facilities where:  There is no physical interaction with large carnivores, elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, large primates, ostriches and venomous snakes.  There are acceptable animal welfare standards – subject to Five Freedoms  There are no false claims with regard to conservation, breeding or trade. Examples include: • Aquariums without major cetaceans • Zoos with acceptable animal welfare standards • Bird parks where birds are not tethered or wings clipped • Ostrich farms with no human-bird contact Where the humans are captive! • Shark-cage diving , which is subject to strict Marine Coastal Management regulations
  9. 9. The mark of a good holiday Poor practice FTT views the following as poor practice: For animal welfare and conservation reasons: • Performing animals - circuses, dolphin shows, bullfighting, using wildlife as photographic props, elephant displays. • Elephant back riding • Ostrich riding • Lion breeding • Petting baby predators & other wild animals For human safety reasons: • Physical interaction with lions, other big cats, elephants, rhinos, ostriches, big apes. For transparency, conservation & animal welfare reasons: • “Sanctuaries” that breed, trade or obtain healthy animals from the wild. • Predator breeding centres that make false conservation claims. • “Orphanages” where animals are forcibly removed from their mothers
  10. 10. The mark of a good holiday Fair Trade Tourism Draft Guidelines The facility should minimise the risk of human injury. Does your facility have insurance against liability for any damage or injury caused by animals? Yes No Does your facility have a comprehensive risk assessment in place, plus policies and procedures to prevent injury to visitors? The business should not permit members of the public to come into contact with species listed as Hazard Category 1 in the Animal Husbandry Tables of the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines, while contact with other species should be subject to a risk assessment. Prohibited contact excludes thqt required for veterinary purposes or other animal welfare needs and activities undertaken for a verifiable conservation objective. Does your business permit members of the public to come into contact with species listed as Hazard Category 1 in the Animal Husbandry Tables of the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines? (lions, leopards, cheetah, caracal, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffe, great apes and large monkeys, buffalo, poisonous snakes, pythons, crocodiles, ostriches, large antelope, zebras, camels) Yes No N/A The facility should ensure that animals are not being encouraged to behave in a way that is not natural and / or innate to their species. Are animals required to perform or entertain in a way that is not consistent with commonly observed natural behaviour? Eg performing tricks, walking, sitting, lying on demand. Yes No Where feeding of animals is allowed, food should be provided by the business. Are guests allowed to feed (non-category 1) animals? Yes No If guests are allowed to feed animals, does the facility provide the food? Yes No N/A Are any of the animals at your facility fed with live vertebrate prey Yes No N/A Unless for veterinary or safety (e.g. rhino dehorning) reasons, animals should not be drugged or mutilated in any way, including to make them safe for handling or for use as photographic props. Are animals drugged, altered or manipulated in any way to make them safe for handling, or for use as photographic props? Yes No Do you have a code of conduct around photography with your animals? Yes No Animals at the facility should not have been removed from parental care prematurely to perpetuate tourism activities. Are animals at your facility removed from parental care prematurely? (i.e before they would leave their parents in the wild?) Yes No Are there any activities that involve the public in the direct care or handling of baby or young animals? Yes No Handling of any reptiles should ensure that disease Are guests allowed to handle reptiles? Yes No N/A
  11. 11. The mark of a good holiday Fair Trade Tourism Draft Guidelines A facility should not have obtained animals from the wild, unless for a demonstrable and justifiable conservation need, sanctioned by a Government authority. Has your facility ever obtained animals from the wild? Yes No If your facility has obtained animals from the wild, do you have evidence of sanction from a recognised conservation authority and do you have the necessary permits? Yes No N/A If your facility has obtained animals from the wild, is this for rehabilitation purposes? Yes No A facility should not breed or trade unless this is for declared conservation objectives, verified by an independent conservation authority. Does your facility engage in wildlife trade and / or breeding? Yes No If your facility engages in wildlife breeding or trade, is this clear in your literature? Yes No N/A If your facility engages in wildlife breeding or trade, do you have the necessary legal permits? Yes No If your facility engages in wildlife breeding or trade, is this supported by an independent, nationally recognised conservation organisation? Yes No A declared sanctuary must not engage in wildlife trade or breeding activities. If your facility is called a sanctuary, do you expressly forbid breeding or trade of animals? Yes No N/A The facility should keep an up-to-date record of all animals in its care, including their history and destination (or death) certificates. Does your facility keep an up-to-date registry of all animals in its care, including their history and destination (or death certificates) when they move on? Yes No The facility should declare whether it is a for-profit or non-profit business. Is your facility a for-profit business? Yes No If you seek donations from the public, do you have a registered charity? Yes No N/A The facility should be clear about its conservation objectives & achievements. Does your facility have a visitor education policy or protocol? Yes No Does your facility have a published conservation plan or policy? Yes No Are your facility’s conservation claims verified by a nationally recognised independent conservation body? Yes No N/A

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