Expedia will no longer sell holiday packages that include captive dolphin and whale shows. It’s part of a recently updated animal welfare policy by the travel giant, which is said to be the “most powerful” in the world.
Expedia’s animal welfare policy
The new animal guidelines focus on six key areas: nutrition, environment, health, behavior, choice and control, and affective or mental states.
Expedia now prohibits interactions with or performances by dolphins, whales, and other cetaceans. Seaside sanctuaries are permitted, as long as they are accredited and do not offer interactions or performances.
Similarly, the travel company does not permit intentional physical contact with other wild and exotic animals, including elephants, bears, big cats, primates, and reptiles. It also prohibits wild animal performances that are “demeaning” and “unnatural.” This includes as part of a circus or magic show.
Further, Expedia does not sell animal activities offered by venues that are not recognized by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), including exotic pet cafes and traveling zoos.
Expedia’s animal welfare policy also says it does not support attractions which breed animals for commercial purposes. Additionally, the company does not support venues that sell products derived from wild animals like crocodiles, turtles, and snakes.
Attractions which use animals as props, such as for selfies, are also not allowed.
And, Expedia does not allow any activity based on injuring or killing animals. This includes trophy hunting, canned hunting, bear baiting, animal wrestling, and spearfishing. Bull, dog, and cockfighting are banned, as is any experience that involves the feeding or use of live animals for provoking other animals.
Permitted animal activities
Interactions with domesticated animals – such as horses, cows, dogs, and cats – are allowed via Expedia, but “limited.”
For instance, animal rides, petting zoos, and parrot interactions are permitted. And, Expedia continues to work with select accredited zoos and aquariums.
Further, it still promotes horse and dog sled racing.
“A policy is only as strong as the system that enforces it, and we have both automatic processes and manual interventions to do so,” Expedia writes on its website. “Any time we update our animal welfare policies, we give our providers 30 days to comply with the updated policy or face removal from the site.”