EAAM, European Association for Aquatic Mammals, is deeply concern about the announcement of the Thomas Cook Travel Company that, from the summer 2019, will stop selling trips to Zoological parks that keep killer whales. The Zoological Facilities affected are SeaWorld, in Florida, and Loro Parque in Tenerife.
The chief executive of the Holiday Giant, Peter Frankhauser said “This was not a decision we took lightly” acknowledging that both parks had met standards and had made improvements to how animals were kept, however he added, “.. more than 90% of our customers were concerned about animal welfare…and when so many of our customers are so clear in their view, I could not allow our business to ignore them”
However the Travel Company lacked to explain correctly to their customers that Animal Welfare Standards in these Parks, like for the other Zoological Parks members of numerous Associations like EAAM (European Association for Aquatic Mammals), EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria), WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums), AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums) provide outstanding animal welfare to their marine mammals certified by a strict Accreditation process. Besides some of these Zoological Parks received also the ‘Humane Conservation’ certification on Animal Welfare as a result of independent worldwide Zoological expert´s inspection, Loro Parque is one of these Zoological facilities.
‘Thomas Cook Company’ also failed to evaluate the large impact in terms of in situ projects and direct conservation support that these Zoological parks give every year to the Nature conservation and wild animals protection.
EAAM with all its members provides a huge support in terms of money, professionals, know-how and experience at service of the Nature, only Loro Parque contributed until now with more than $19 million to over 150 conservation projects globally.
In addition, a fundamental positive impact on Nature preservation and conservation is possible only by educating and sensitizing people, performing Conservation Education activities and engaging experiences that increase awareness and empowerment in millions of adults and child that visit Zoos and Marine Parks.
Millions of UK and of worldwide guests ha visited these parks and they have seen first-hand the incredible care provided to all animal hosted and learned about how it is possible to protect and save species in the wild.
The WAZA Chief Executive Officer Doug Cress highlight “Thomas Cook focused on orcas but overlooked the ongoing efforts to protect marine species around the world. Those programs that rescue pilot whales or save sea turtles are funded by tourist revenue. Thomas Cook sold its clients only a fraction of the true story, and could undermine essential conservation work as a result“.
Joining to the WAZA Chief Executive Officer message, the EAAM President Elect Renato Lenzi, invite the Thomas Cook Agency to carefully and responsibly re-consider its decision and let their consumers take part in the effort to protect our natural heritage continuing to include marine parks in its travel packages.
Renato Lenzi, President Elect