British Airways Holidays has become the latest travel company to stop selling captive animal attractions.
The operator has worked with international wildlife charity Born Free over the past year to develop a new animal welfare strategy, which it launched on Thursday (8 August).
In it, it pledges not to promote the captivity of wild animal and to discourage its hotel partners from doing so.
The move comes after Virgin Holidays last month pledged to stop selling captive whale and dolphin attractions.
Leading by example, BA Holidays on Thursday removed all attractions where captive wild animals are the focus from ba.com.
And while it will continue to offer customers certain hotels that keep wild animals on site, customers will not be able to book tickets for any animal attractions through BA Holidays.
Any such hotels will be labelled as keeping wild animals on site in captivity to allow customers to make an informed choice when booking.
BA Holidays’ partnership with Born Free will see it back the charity’s Raise the Red Flag initiative, a global online system for reporting captive animal suffering.
The operator has also pledged to support the creation of a new space for rescued big cats at a sanctuary in South Africa.
Claire Bentley, BA Holidays managing director, said customers had concerns about wild animals being kept in captivity, and increasingly saw animal performances as “outdated”.
She added the new animal welfare strategy was designed primarily to help customers make more informed choices on their holiday options, and to promote its approach to hotel and attraction partners.
Dr Chris Draper, head of animal welfare and captivity at Born Free, said: “Raise the Red Flag allows members of the public to make Born Free aware of captive wild animal welfare concerns, while equipping people with the tools to take action.
“It’s the first time any major travel company has truly supported an active initiative to help wild animals and we applaud British Airways Holidays for taking this bold stance.”