After extensive correspondence with PETA India, online travel service Cleartrip has announced a new animal-welfare policy for its Indian market that ends promotions of animal rides as experiences and introduces a “robust reporting process” for any instances of cruelty to animals witnessed by its customers. Part of its new policy states, “Cleartrip will not acquire, publish and market any content which involves animal rides.”
Horses used for rides in India’s horse-drawn carriage industry are routinely overworked, and riders have been hurt or even killed when the skittish animals have been spooked and have run amok on busy city streets. And elephant rides and all other activities that involve direct contact with elephants contribute to an industry that subjects the animals to ruthless training sessions in which they’re barbarically beaten and that keeps them chained in place when not being used as tourist attractions. In addition, such activities are dangerous for humans and can even be fatal: captive elephants not only have been known to lash out in frustration but can also carry tuberculosis, which can be transmitted to humans.
More than 50 travel agencies – including global operators such as smarTours, TripAdvisor, The Travel Corporation, Intrepid Travel, and TUI Group – have committed to not offering activities that exploit elephants.
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