Animal charity plans orca demo at Abta’s Travel Convention

Campaigners from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) will be demonstrating about Abta’s stance on orcas in marine parks at tomorrow’s Travel Convention.

The one-day convention is to take place at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, London, on Wednesday (October 13), as well as virtually.

Supporters of the animal welfare charity will be lobbying with signs demanding the travel association discourages “the promotion of cruel marine parks”.

Kate Werner, Peta’s senior campaigns manager, said: “Travel giants Tripadvisor, Virgin Holidays, and British Airways Holidays refuse to promote facilities that imprison orcas, yet Abta, which is lagging behind, does nothing to prevent members such as Tui from profiting from ticket sales to venues that confine these sensitive, intelligent animals to small concrete tanks.

“Today’s holidaymakers object to seeing nature-starved orcas swim listlessly in tanks, and the travel industry has caught on.

“Peta urges Abta to catch up and list cetacean captivity as an unacceptable practice.”

Abta declined to comment ahead of the demonstration but it does outline its stance on animal welfare and dolphins on its website.

In August, a coalition of animal welfare groups wrote to Abta calling on the travel association to discourage visits to see whales, dolphins and other cetaceans for entertainment.

They want to see the practice of viewing the animals added to Abta’s list of unacceptable and discouraged practices – but Abta defended its stance because “opinion is split” on the matter.

Picture by Peta

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