The new guidelines for captive wildlife have been released by Fair Trade Tourism and they seek to help assist the travel industry make decisions about which captive wildlife facilities to support and which to avoid.

Developed after consulting with nearly 200 organisations and 40 publications, the guidelines touch on 5 essential aspects of wildlife captivity:

  1. legal compliance
  2. wildlife conservation
  3. animal welfare
  4. visitor safety
  5. transparency

These 5 areas are the new criteria by which facilities will be judged. FTT says global research conducted by Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit indicates that up to four million tourists who visit captive wildlife attractions per year are contributing to animal welfare abuse and declines in species’ conservation, yet 80% of them are unaware of their negative impacts.

“Issues around captive wildlife are firmly in the global spotlight and have the potential to negatively affect Brand South Africa”, says FTT MD Jane Edge. “Many animal welfare groups are lobbying to have the captive wildlife industry shut down and this pressure is likely to grow. FTT recognises that the industry is here to stay but that good practice standards and guidelines are urgently needed to weed out dangerous or exploitative practices. We encourage the tourism sector to use our guidelines to make discerning choices, thereby helping to improve standards and the overall image of South Africa,”

– Ms Edge, Fair Trade Tourism

To find out more about the guidelines visit the Fair Trade Tourism website and the guidelines are available to FTT-certified businesses and approved tour operators at no cost. Other businesses can purchase the guidelines for R250 (€15.88). To obtain a copy, contact shona@fairtrade.travel.

Remember Southern Africa 360 has a range of fair trade holiday packages, so you can be sure that your trip is both enjoyable and ethical.

Categories: Industry News

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