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Responsible tourism
Please make sure that you do not support animal cruelty when on holiday at home or abroad

If you support an attraction that relies on animal exploitation to make profits, your money will support the cruelty...


Change For Animals Foundation encourages everyone to act responsibly and in consideration of animal welfare when they're at home and abroad. Many attractions keep and exploit animals in ways that cause immense suffering, targeting tourists for their profits. When you're on holiday, please choose the places you visit and activities you support with caution and think about the welfare of the animals involved. 

Dolphins in Captivity: Suffering not Smiling

The marine mammal industry is big business and is driven by people’s desire to see these amazing and iconic animals up close and, in many cases, to swim or interact with them. However, life in captivity is totally unsuitable for cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises). The marine mammal industry threatens wild populations and inflicts cruelty and suffering on countless animals.

Dolphin attractions encourage the capture of dolphins from the wild

  • Many dolphins are caught from the wild for sale to commercial operations that are supported by people’s desire to see the amazing animals up close. Dolphin family members are separated from each other and many animals are seriously injured or even killed during capture.

  • It is often claimed that captive  dolphins in resorts are rescued from circuses or from entanglement in fishing nets, sometimes awaiting rehabilitation to the wild. The reality is that these dolphins are caught to supply a lucrative trade.

  • Some attractions use ‘sea pens’ rather than tanks. However, although such pens are slightly more naturalistic, they are still woefully inadequate habitats for cetaceans and should only be used in genuine retirement and rehabilitation projects. Sadly some resorts and attractions claim to be involved in rescue but have no intention to responsibly retire or release the animals in their care.

  • Life in a swimming pool is miserable for these highly intelligent animals

Swimming pools and sea pens rarely accommodate families or social groups and deny dolphins the open space and diversity that they need.

  • Chemically treated water may cause painful ulcers and skin lesions.

  • In the wild, cetaceans live in social groups, but in captivity many are kept in isolation and mothers and calves are regularly separated. 

  • Dolphins are intelligent and wide-ranging animals, swimming up to 96 kilometres a day. They can reach speeds up to 35 km/h and dive to 300 meters. These natural behaviours are denied in captivity.

  • Lives cut short: Dolphins rarely live as long in captivity as they might in the wild.

  • The captive-dolphin industry would like you to believe that dolphins love to perform. This is not true. Trainers often force the dolphins to do tricks by withholding food and by isolating them for making mistakes. For social animals, isolation is a very cruel punishment.


What can you do?


Please never  visit marine parks that have captive cetaceans, participate in ‘swim with dolphin’ or ‘dolphin-assisted therapy’ sessions or support tour operators that book tours to such facilities. Please always make your voice heard for animals by writing to tour operator expressing your concerns for dolphins in captivity.

Elephants: Please Don’t Pay For Their Suffering

Elephant tourist parks, camps and shows exist in many parts of Asia, and the truth is that tourist demand to get close to these iconic animals is fuelling the cruel and abusive treatment of elephants.


What you should know about elephant attractions


  • Elephant training methods, which keep the animals in constant compliance are based on fear and pain: calves are “broken” by removal from their mothers, physical restraint and fear. Adults are forced to perform in a certain way through the abusive use of the bullhook (ankus).


  • Elephants may not show overt signs of distress to the untrained eye, and may seem to be obediently plodding along, but constant, forced proximity to humans without choice of retreat is extremely stressful for these animals.


  • Elephants are highly social animals and normally live in close, stable groups. Elephants used for tourism and entertainment usually live in isolation or in unnatural social groupings.


  • Captive elephants are deprived of the opportunity to perform natural behaviors, as they are either confined, tethered, or under the ankus of the mahout (rider). This creates anxiety and frustration.


  • Tourist elephants are often overworked and forced to work in the heat of the day with inadequate food, water or rest.


  • The use of elephants in tourism or for any entertainment encourages the illegal trade in wild-caught elephants. This brings immense suffering to countless animals and compromises elephant conservation efforts.


  • It is often claimed that tourist elephants are “rescued”, have been orphaned, or being kept for conservation. The reality is that encouraging human-elephant interactions is contrary to conservation and rehabilitation efforts; the trade creates orphans by killing their mothers. Teaching animals to perform inappropriate tricks portrays them to the public in a humiliating manner, instead of showing their natural grace and beauty. And this compromises efforts to promote empathy and respect. 


What can you do?

You can make a difference. Most elephants in captivity are part of tourist-driven businesses. Please don't pay for the elephants' suffering. Please never go on elephant rides or visit attractions with elephant shows or performances, and always make your voice heard by writing to tour operators expressing your concerns.

Wildlife In Captivity: Zoos and Safari Parks

Thousands of wild animals are kept in captivity in zoos and other facilities throughout the world for entertainment. Many are living in the most appalling of conditions, suffering hugely, both physically and psychologically.  Many zoos operate as commercial enterprises, buying, selling and breeding animals, often without consideration for the individual animal’s welfare.

The Reality of Life in Captivity


  • Animals often live in small barren, cramped conditions in which they have neither the space nor the materials to carry out their natural behaviours, and no opportunity to avoid the constant public gaze.

  • Social animals, such as elephants and primates, are often housed in social isolation, in groups smaller than the average group size in the wild, or in unnatural groupings, causing immense and constant distress.

  • Many zoos and safari parks continue to source animals from the wild, encouraging the illegal trade in wildlife.

  • No Photos Please! Many zoos continue to exploit animals as “photo props”. Many don’t realise that these so-called ‘photo-prop’ animals are usually badly treated, abused, orphaned when they are babies, and discarded when they are less ‘cute’.

  • Lack of regulations in many parts of the world mean that there are few laws protecting the welfare of animals housed at these facilities.


What can you do?

You can make a difference. In many parts of the world, most zoos and safari parks are part of tourist-driven businesses. Please don't pay for the animals’ suffering.


Please never visit attractions with animal shows or performances or have your photo taken with a wild animal being exploited as a “photo-prop”. Please write letters voicing your concerns to embassies and tour operators to make your voice heard for animals.

Remember: When the Demand Stops, So Will the Suffering…
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