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Travel company Insight Guides Will stop all promotions of tours involving elephant rides.
The decision follows discussions with animal rights charity PETA. The company has joined TUI Group – the world’s largest travel and tourism company, which owns TUI and First Choice – as well as Responsible Travel, Intrepid Travel, DK, and G Adventures in pledging not to promoting the rides.
According to PETA: “A recent exposé of Amber Fort in Jaipur, India, found that elephants were forced to give rides despite suffering from ailments such as foot problems, visual impairment, and psychological distress (as evidenced by repetitive swaying and head-bobbing).”
PETA investigations show cruelty to elephants
PETA Director, Elisa Allen, said: “Insight Guides sets a compassionate example in rejecting archaic attractions that force highly intelligent, social elephants to give rides.
“PETA urges travellers to keep all animal exhibits off their itineraries, and Insight Guides’ kind decision will help prevent holidaymakers from inadvertently supporting cruelty to animals.”
The charity adds that elephants used for rides are often forcibly separated from their mothers as babies, immobilised with tightly bound ropes, and gouged with bullhooks or nail-studded sticks during ‘training’.