Animal Welfare on Your Holidays

This week we have to revisit the Isla Nublar welfare audit to talk about one of Jurassic World’s best loved scenes . . . the petting zoo.

Of course it’s all oooh and ahhh when they’re babies and they’re cute, but the common love for this scene does raise an excellent point. While you’re out and about on your summer holidays, you might be tempted to do something animal related as an animal lover. I do this too. But think very carefully about how you use the animals on your holiday trip. Do you really want a picture of you sitting beside a declawed and defanged tiger that has a pretty poor quality of life?

But animal-focussed tourism can also bring a lot to a local economy, as well as being a pleasant experience for you, so how can you be a responsible animal lover on your holidays?

The ABTA has some good animal welfare guidance on their website and if you’ve booked through a travel agent they’ll want to hear about your experiences doing an animal-related activity. My tips would be:

  • Does the animal have access to water and shade?

This is especially important in warmer climates, but any animal performing needs to have access to plenty of fresh water and shade that it can avail itself of at any time.

  • Can the animal leave the situation?

Is the animal to get up and go if too many humans invade its space, or at the very least, if the animal displays behaviour suggesting it’s uncomfortable, will the tour operator accept this and end the session?

  • Does the animal look healthy?

A good indicator of welfare is general health. A thin, obese, flea-ridden or otherwise diseased animal is A) not going to be feeling very happy anyway, and B) unlikely to be living in a good environment.

So with that – enjoy your holidays!

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