Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure travel operators do more to prevent the exploitation of captive wild animals.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

The Government shares the concerns of the public about this issue and we are committed to the highest standards of animal welfare, both here in the UK and in our work with countries abroad. Britain engages with other countries both directly and as part of global forums such as the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health).

Ministers are committed to working to promote the conservation of wild animals worldwide and the Government has been working with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to encourage them to make customers aware of reported animal welfare issues abroad. It is important that when going abroad, tourists consider whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that animals have been mistreated before deciding whether to visit an animal attraction. ABTA published Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. This includes guidance on unacceptable activities which are known to have a detrimental effect on animal welfare, and extended minimum welfare requirements for whales and dolphins.

Defra encourages tourists to report any animal welfare concerns to their UK tour operator or travel agent on return to the UK.

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