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Animal Welfare Policy

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Wildlife experiences in our industry

Contiki’s partnership with World Animal Protection, and our first Animal Welfare Policy, both launched in 2014. That year, Contiki joined more than 100 travel companies in signing World Animal Protection’s Elephant-Friendly Tourism Pledge and stopped the sale of experiences that involved elephant rides or shows. Since then, we’ve worked in partnership with World Animal Protection, the WTTC, Blood Lions  and, most recently, End Wildlife Crime to address behavioral and systematic change in our industry.

Ethical wildlife experiences

Contiki, in partnership with TreadRight,  supports World Animal Protection’s goal of changing supplier behaviour within the industry through the Coalition for Ethical Wildlife Tourism, established to demonstrate consumer demand for ethical wildlife experiences. Together with our travel partners, we provide training on animal welfare and undertake annual audits of all experiences including wild or domestic animals by Contiki. See how else we support wildlife through our TreadRight Wildlife projects.

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Wildlife experiences on our trips

Contiki endeavours to take our travellers to see animals in the wild. But there are instances on our trips when you may visit animals in sanctuaries or rehabilitation centres. We know – it’s not always easy to tell whether an animal sanctuary or rehabilitation centre is ethical or not. That’s why our team considers the purpose of the facility, where the animals came from, animal behavior, facility credentials and policies regarding breeding – to ensure abandoned, sick, or injured animals are being well taken care of by the facility.

Our team takes wildlife protection seriously, and to help ensure the wildlife experiences offered by Contiki meet our high standards, we updated our Animal Welfare Policy. Our latest policy is supported by internal training of our teams to ensure compliance across all animal encounters by the close of 2021.

In cooperation with our partner World Animal Protection and with guidance from globally recognised animal welfare criteria, the Five Domains of Animal Welfare, we are pleased to encourage and support a travel industry free of animal cruelty.

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5 domains of animal welfare

The Five Domains of Animal Welfare are a globally-recognised criteria with a focus on the mental state of the animal. They replace the previously standardised ‘Five Freedoms’, and recognise the sentient nature of animals.

The do's & don't of animal encounters

What you should do while traveling

tick Maintain a respectful distance from wild animals and create minimal noise
tick Research the venues you want to visit to learn about their own animal welfare practices
tick Educate yourself on the criteria sanctuaries, zoos and private reserves should be meeting to be able to spot red flags
tick Speak up if you see or think that animals are not being treated well. Ask questions or choose not to participate in the activity. If you have an experience like this on a Contiki trip email animalwelfare@treadright.org and Contiki’s TreadRight team will immediately investigate
tick Take  our Pledge  and make travel matter for our planet, for people and for wildlife

What you should not do while traveling

tick Touch, feed, chase, ride, or harass wild animals
tick Take a wildlife selfie if the animal is being held, hugged or restrained
tick Purchase wildlife souvenirs such as ivory
tick Operate drones near or above wildlife, creating a noise disturbance
tick Post pictures of endangered animals or species to social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook while using the Geotag feature to reveal your location. Poachers are now using unsuspecting tourists to hunt their prey