Irish travel agents must follow the lead of Expedia and stop selling tickets to holiday attractions featuring performances by captive animals.
Over the weekend, Expedia confirmed that would stop promoting activities that involve performances or interactions with captive dolphins and whales.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning animal rights campaigner John Carmody said Expedia took the decision after thousands of people contacted the company to complain.
He said the film ‘Blackfish’ opened many people’s eyes to the cruelty whales and dolphins endure at amusement parks.
“I think people are joining the dots and it is about time that travel agencies who were selling tickets to these parks decided to cop on and pull the tickets from their websites so that people can make proper ethical decisions, he said.
“The reality is that there are still Irish travel agencies that are dishing out these tickets to these shady swimming dolphin programmes and I suppose I would be urging them now to get with the times, pull up their socks on this one and move beyond this archaic form of entertainment that has enslaved and exploited animals.”
Mr Carmody said the internet has helped push through a “fantastic amount of change” in terms of animal rights in recent years.
“It was always a big problem for us for many years trying to speak out against cruelty to animals but there is no more justifying any of this exploitation and cruelty,” he said.
“It is out there for all to see. With a click of a button, we are able to bring people into ... all these exhibitions that profit off animal exploitation.
“There is no future in it.”
Expedia said it will take time to roll out its new animal welfare policy – with the changes due to be fully implemented early in the new year.
It noted that seaside sanctuaries that offer captive animals a “permanent seaside living environment” will continue to be advertised, provided they are accredited and don’t feature animal interaction or performances.
The move has been raised by PETA and the wildlife charity World Animal Protection.
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