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Parliamentary questions
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1 March 2017
Question for written answer E-001383-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Neena Gill (S&D)

 Subject:  Elephants and Tourism
 Answer in writing 

The majority of elephants used in tourism originate from the wild. Young, wild Asian elephants are sourced in Myanmar and India, removed from their families and then subjected to a brutal process to break their ‘wild spirit’ and to tame the animals for riding purposes. Riding an elephant has huge implications, not only for the health and safety of the public, but also the welfare of the individual animal and the future survival of elephants, with increasing numbers being taken from the wild to sustain the demand.

Elephants, as well as other animals, involved in tourism practices, suffer from hard lives, deprived living conditions and exploitation for entertainment purposes. Many of the species are also on the brink of extinction, and their sourcing from the wild must be prevented.

1. What is the Commission’s agenda in relation to the protection of animals involved in tourism practices?

2. There is industry guidance available, such as The British Travel Association’s Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. Are these guidelines recognised and implemented at EU level?

3. What measures are being taken to stop the wild capture of wildlife for display purposes and exploitation in captive animal facilities?

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