The South African Tourism Services Association ruled that wildlife interactions are no longer accepted in South Africa; they set up a guide and toolkit to show what is and isn’t acceptable.
South Africa (28 January 2020) – A year-long study by the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) has resulted in a win for South Africa. SATSA has announced that they will no longer accept animal interactions within the tourism industry.
The research project was established to help operators, product owners and tourists make ethical choices when wanting to view wildlife in South Africa. As the wildlife tourism industry is so prominent in South Africa, it is vital to have a document that aligns all businesses under one ruling.
“Over time, people have come to realise that certain attractions or activities involving animals are clearly unacceptable – particularly as they result in poor welfare and treatment of the animals concerned
and habituation to unnatural behaviours. e.g. animals in circuses, performing whales and dolphins, trading and poaching of wild animals for their body parts and “canned hunting”. Society’s maturing awareness of the exploitation of animals for human gain or enjoyment has led to these activities being shunned by the informed public at large.”
SATSA has come up with three categories for animal tourism in South Africa. They either fall into “Unacceptable”, “Unclear” and “Acceptable”. These are gauged by public opinion on the matter.
All unacceptable acts will include:
- Performing Animals
- Physical interactions with ALL Infant Animals
- Walking with Predators and Elephants
- Physical interactions with Predators and Cetaceans
- Riding on Wild Animals
SATSA also created a tool to help people decide what to support and what to avoid! You can read the full and very informative guide here.
‘This Guide and Tool, like SATSA, has no regulative or legislative power. It is hoped they will find utility amongst Visitors (tourists) and Buyers (travel trade) such that the market comes to hold the power to “be the change you want to see”.
As they always say, it is your rand that has the power and therefore, people should actively boycott businesses that support all the above unacceptable acts and trades. We are so happy to see the South African Tourism Services Association taking a stand and siding with the proper protection of South African wildlife.