Target: TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer
Goal: Inform tourists of animal mistreatment at wildlife attractions.
Swimming with dolphins, elephant rides, and snake charming are just a few of the attractions that may not adequately feed, shelter, and care for their captive animals. However, millions of tourists are unaware of the conditions and continue visit these attractions each year. A recent study rated global attractions using animal welfare scores, then studied the reviews for the corresponding attractions using the website TripAdvisor. Overall, the majority of attractions were deemed to have negative impacts on animal welfare, while 80 percent of tourists did not recognize this. This implies that many of the negative practices may be occurring behind the scenes.
Animal welfare was measured by using a ‘freedoms test.’ Captive animals were assessed by their general disposition and demeanor. Aspects that were examined were hunger, thirst, pain, discomfort, distress, and general misery. The animals were then given a score based on these aspects. Nineteen attraction types, including tiger attractions, bear parks, and dolphin interactions, were found to have negative animal welfare scores. Despite attractions with low scores, it was found that they are still tremendously popular and do not produce tourist dissatisfaction.
Overall, the study found that a majority of tourists do not recognize negative animal welfare when visiting these attractions. By clearly posting animal welfare scores on each attraction’s page, tourists will be able to incorporate the treatment of the animals in their decision of where to visit. Hopefully, this will decrease attendance to attractions with a negative welfare score and force those attractions to increase their standards. If these study results are not broadcasted, animals will continue to suffer from hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, and other cruel practices. Sign the petition below to urge TripAdvisor’s CEO, Stephen Kaufer, to require welfare scores to be posted for animal attractions.
Dear Mr. Kaufer,
TripAdvisor is a valuable tool that many families and tourists use to help them decide where they would like to visit. However, your website is missing vital information regarding animal welfare and standards at certain attractions.
Certain varieties of wildlife attractions, such as wild dolphin interactions and elephant parks, have a low animal welfare score, unbeknownst to most attraction visitors. Factors such as hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, and distress have been measured in each of the many types of attraction and either positive or negative scores have been assigned. These scores need to be clearly posted on the attraction’s page within your website.
I urge you to implement animal welfare scores on TripAdvisor’s wildlife attraction pages. By doing so, travelers can be more wholly informed on which attractions they would like to visit. Additionally, attractions that mistreat animals will not have the blind support of the public until the company improves its practices. Please incorporate this change into your website so that cruel animal attractions will not have the support of the public.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Christine Majul