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Travel giant Thomas Cook is being urged to sever its relationship with SeaWorld after the controversial theme park failed an animal welfare check.

The tour operator – Britain’s biggest – undertook an audit of SeaWorld’s flagship Orlando location, based on animal welfare rules defined by the Association Of British Travel Agents [ABTA].

The audit ordered by Thomas Cook – which sells more than 10,000 day trips a year to the attraction – highlighted concerns, the details of which have not been released.

Promoting

Thomas Cook, which stopped promoting SeaWorld its website as a result of the audit and pressure from welfare campaigners, has given park bosses three months to improve.

A Thomas Cook spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “We have now audited SeaWorld, and we are in contact with them about the results in accordance with our policy.”

A SeaWorld spokesperon said: “While the physical audits of the parks are complete, the process is still ongoing. We provide world-class care to the animals in our parks.”

Documentary Blackfish blew the whistle on cruel practices at SeaWorld

No humane way

But animal campaigners are calling for Thomas Cook to sever ties with SeaWorld straight away.

A spokesperson for animal rights charity PETA said: “There’s no humane way to keep these highly intelligent animals in captivity, let alone force them to perform cruel tricks for food.

“Given that SeaWorld has now failed its own audit, Thomas Cook must end the financial lifeline it gives the park and stop selling tickets immediately.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.