Great news for our ongoing campaign to end captivity and stop tour operators selling tickets to, and promoting whale and dolphin shows. Travel company Thomas Cook has announced that it is to stop the sale of tickets to attractions where any are held captive.
WDC worked closely with the former owners of Thomas Cook, advising them about whales and dolphins in tourism and, in 2018, the company became the first major UK tour operator to drop existing facilities where animal welfare issues were causing concern, initially removing from sale tickets to any attraction holding captive orcas.
The new Thomas Cook online business, which was established in 2020, has now gone a step further to include all facilities where a dolphins or whale is kept captive. It stated that customers had particular concerns about dolphins in captivity. The company will now focus on promoting wild-watching experiences for whales and dolphins which allow people to experience them in their natural habitat.
Keeping them in featureless tanks is cruel. They may swim endlessly in circles, some lie on the floor of the tank for many hours, chew on the sides of the pool and repeat the same patterns of behaviour over and over.
For those reasons we will be continuing our call for all travel operators to stop selling tickets to these shows, and for the captivity industry to commit to our ethical phase-out model. No performances, no breeding, no wild captures, no trade between facilities, enhanced welfare conditions and support for wild sea sanctuaries such as the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland that we helped to establish in partnership with The SEA LIFE Trust.