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World Expeditions launches animal welfare policy

Australian adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has launched a new 'Animal Welfare in Tourism Code of Conduct' incorporating universally accepted principles of animal welfare.

world expeditionsAustralian adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has launched a new Animal Welfare in Tourism Code of Conduct incorporating the five universally accepted principles of animal welfare.

Formulated in partnership with international animal advocacy organization, World Animal Protection, World Expeditions is leading the charter to become the first travel company to develop a comprehensive policy.

According to Nicola Beynon, from World Animal Protection, the new policy is an industry-leading step towards integrating animal welfare with broader responsible tourism.

“Through this partnership with World Animal Protection, World Expeditions is transforming an industry and educating travellers on animal-friendly tourism,” Beynon said.

The five point policy aims to: end the needless suffering of animals; influence decision makers to put animals on the global agenda; help the world see how important animals are to all; inspire people to change animals’ lives for the better; and move the world to protect animals.

Acknowledging that it is often difficult for travel companies and travellers to determine what is a ‘good’ and what is a ‘bad’ animal sanctuary, shelter or orphanage, part of the charter involves an audit of the World Expeditions 800 or so individual itineraries, focusing on any content that may include animal experiences.

According to Donna Lawrence, Responsible Travel Manager at World Expeditions, the process begins with a questionnaire being supplied to local partners, who visit the site and complete the Animal Sanctuary Checklist.

“The results are then forwarded to World Animal Protection who review responses, together with other relevant information, and provide an assessment on whether the facility is one we should continue to send travellers to or not,” Lawrence said.

“We collect information about facilities, which can be shared with tourism companies worldwide so there is a sharing portal which will be useful in itinerary planning stages,” she said. “Those facilities that are not meeting the standards of World Animal Protection will receive feedback so that they are able to improve and adapt to become accepted facility for travellers to visit.”

WE has also just released the latest edition of its Responsible Travel Guidebook. The new edition coincides with the company’s 40th birthday celebrations and outlines the company’s responsible travel policies on a range of issues including child protection, mitigating the carbon emissions, litter disposal, porter protection and minimal impact in wilderness.

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