Killer whale shows dropped from Peterborough travel giant's holiday attractions

Thomas Cook is to remove killer whale shows from its holidays.
Thomas Cook is to remove killer whale shows from its holidays.
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Peterborough-based Thomas Cook is to drop tourist attractions featuring captive killer whale shows.

The travel giant has announced that from next summer it will no longer sell tickets to any animal attractions that keep killer whales in captivity.

This will involve Seaworld in America and Loro Parque in Tenerife.

The move comes 18 months after Thomas Cook, which employs more than 1,000 people at Westpoint, in Lynch Wood, Peterborough, unveiled its animal welfare policy which seeks to ensure its attractions meet customers’ expectations

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: "Since then we’ve audited 49 animal attractions, and removed 29 which didn’t meet the minimum ABTA standards that we insist upon.

"In the remaining 20, we’re proud to say that each one has made significant improvements to the way they treat their animals as a direct result of our audit process.

But he added; "We always said that we would continue to review our policy, conscious that the more we got into this area, the more we would learn, and conscious also of changing customer sentiment.

"We have actively engaged with a range of animal welfare specialists in the last 18 months, and taken account of the scientific evidence they have provided.

"We have also taken feedback from our customers, more than 90 per cent of whom told us that it was important that their holiday company takes animal welfare seriously.

"That has led us to the decision we have just taken.

"It will see Thomas Cook remove two attractions which we currently offer customers, both of which passed our audit process and made improvements to the way they treat animals.

"We respect and applaud the work that has been done, and we will work with both over the next 12 months to prepare for our exit.

"We will also continue to work ourselves to identify more sustainable alternatives."