British Airways joins Virgin Holidays in scrapping ticket sales for SeaWorld and says its customers consider animal performance as & # 39; obsolete & # 39; consider
- British Airways Holidays has removed all animal attractions from its website
- It has entered into a partnership with Born Free to create a whole new strategy for wildlife
- BA says its customers are concerned that wild animals are being kept in captivity
British Airways Holidays has stopped selling tickets for SeaWorld and other attractions with captive wildlife.
It comes after Virgin Holidays last month canceled ticket sales to attractions that keep whales and dolphins in captivity.
British Airways says its customers regard animal performance as & # 39; particularly outdated & # 39; and has now entered into a partnership with the conservation organization Born Free to form a new strategy for wildlife.
British Airways Holidays has stopped selling tickets for SeaWorld and other attractions with captive wildlife
All attractions where wildlife is central to the attraction have been removed from its website, BA.com.
However, BA Holidays customers can still book rooms in hotels where wild animals are kept on site.
But the company says these are clearly referred to as keeping wildlife, so that customers can make an informed choice when booking their vacation.
Claire Bentley, director of British Airways Holidays, said: “Our customers tell us that they are concerned about the fact that wild animals are being kept in captivity and in particular see animal performance in particular as outdated.
& # 39; We are delighted to have worked with Born Free to develop our new strategy that allows our customers to make better-informed choices and we contact all our hotel and attraction partners about our new approach. & # 39;
The decision to scrap SeaWorld ticket sales and other wildlife attractions follows an online petition begging BA Holidays to stop supporting SeaWorld.
It was founded by Kathleen Haase and Whale & Dolphin Conservation UK and drew nearly 300,000 signatures.
Claire Bentley, director of British Airways Holidays, said: & # 39; Our customers tell us that they are concerned about keeping wild animals in captivity, and in particular seeing animal performance in particular as obsolete & # 39;
When Virgin Holidays announced last month that it would scrap ticket sales to attractions, it said it wanted to encourage customers to view wildlife remotely instead.
Holiday companies are under pressure to pressurize visits to places where orcas are being held in captivity after a public setback in 2013 after the release of the documentary Blackfish.
The film argued that orcas in captivity are becoming more aggressive towards people and each other.
After the release of the documentary, the number of visitors to SeaWorld parks decreased, the company was faced with falling profits and Southwest Airlines ended its 25-year relationship with the theme park company.
In March 2017, SeaWorld acknowledged that the public's attitude to the orca & # 39; s imprisonment had changed and that the company would end its orca breeding program.
However, SeaWorld's CEO, Gus Antorcha, said that BA was manipulated by & # 39; radical & # 39; activists who had distorted the facts.
He said: & # 39; When radical animal rights activists mislead and manipulate the truth to the detriment of the seriously endangered animals on our planet, you must question their motives.
& # 39; Putting businesses under pressure and trying to be ashamed to break ties with independently accredited zoos and aquariums works against vital research and conservation to protect these animals. We are disappointed that British Airways Holidays succumbed to pressure from animal activists and changed its policy in view of the facts. & # 39;
Dr. Chris Draper, head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, at Born Free said: & We are delighted that as part of our new and exciting partnership, British Airways Holidays is committed to supporting both the creation of a new rescue center for rescued people wild animals. and to support our new Raise the Red Flag initiative.
“Raise the Red Flag so that members of the public can raise awareness about Born Free's concern for animal welfare in captivity, while equipping people with the means to take action. It is the first time that a large travel company is really supporting an active initiative to help wildlife and we welcome British Airways Holidays for this bold attitude. & # 39;
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