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Horror facility stripped of TripAdvisor award just days after online protest

11 April 2018

Certificate of Excellence award to Safari World, Thailand quietly disappears from online travel website just days after being called out by animal lovers.

At Safari World in Thailand, tourists pose for selfies with tigers, dolphins jump through hoops in a swimming pool and orangutans are forced to fight each other in mock boxing rings.

Shockingly, as of April 6, TripAdvisor – the world’s largest travel site – proudly awarded the horrific facility a Certificate of Excellence, while its users rated the facility as “very good”.

But when Animals Asia shared this information via social media with their supporters on April 7, the condemnation was swift with scores of users expressing their disgust.

While TripAdvisor remained silent on the issue, just a few days later, the Certificate of Excellence – awarded to facilities with “great reviews from travellers” – had gone.

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said:

“Safari World in Thailand is everything that is wrong with tourism which involves animals. In the vast majority of cases it is pure exploitation with little to no thought given to the welfare of the animals involved.

“So it is really positive that TripAdvisor is no longer giving a public endorsement of this horrific facility, and we look forward to seeing the company take action against the plethora of other dubious facilities using their site to advertise tourism activities which involve animal cruelty.”

In February, Animals Asia launched a petition, which has been signed by more than 35,000 people, asking TripAdvisor to remove facilities involving animal cruelty from their website.

In a meeting between the company and the charity in March, TripAdvisor doubled down on their refusal to remove facilities which cause harm to animals, but did agree to look into specific cases which breach their current policy not to sell tickets for such attractions.

The list of seven facilities included Le Mat Snake Village in Vietnam, where tourist pay to slaughter and eat king cobras – a vulnerable species – and Mason Adventures, Indonesia, where tourists ride elephants.

Snake farm_le Mat_190413 (43)

However, nearly one month on from the meeting, TripAdvisor continues to sell tickets and directly profit from all of the facilities.

Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“The facilities being openly marketed and sold on TripAdvisor are absolutely shocking examples of blatant cruelty. No animals deserve to be exploited like this.

“Glowing reviews and awards are giving the public entirely the wrong impression about facilities of this nature and no doubt contributing to widespread confusion about what constitutes good animal welfare. More must be done to help these tortured animals, and fast.”

If you want to see TripAdvisor take stronger action to prevent their website being misused as an animal cruelty hub, sign the petition today.