G Adventures is marking World Animal Day (October 4) by announcing its new, strengthened animal welfare policy.

The operator says travellers can ensure ‘wildlife has a wild life’ by having no physical contact with, nor feeding non-domesticated animals in captivity or the wild; not visiting performances or shows involving wild animals; and not consuming endangered animals.

The guidelines have developed with three animal welfare organisations – World Animal Protection, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the World Cetacean Alliance – and update the policy introduced by G Adventures in 2015.

A video called ‘Wildlife has the right to a wild life’ has been launched to highlight basic animal welfare measures, such as not taking pictures with wild animals that may have been sedated, or riding elephants which will have been harmed to carry humans.

Jamie Sweeting, vice-president of social enterprise and responsible travel at G Adventures, said the guidelines mean that the operator is “taking things to the next level” across the business.

“No one in the travel industry is perfect, and we ourselves aren’t perfect, but we must learn as we grow,” he said.

“Our world’s animals are one of our greatest treasures and it’s our job to respect them and to protect them for their future generations, as well as our own.

“With the launch of the new policy, we’re actively educating travellers and holding our staff around the world accountable for reporting issues via a new task force we have set up internally.

“The animal welfare policy will be built into our traveller conduct policy, and into our staff contracts.”

Melissa Matlow, campaign manager for World Animal Protection, added: “We see G Adventures as a leader in humane and sustainable tourism and are excited by the work we will continue to do together to end animal cruelty and keep wildlife in the wild where they belong.”

Pictured: Gorilla in Uganda.

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