After successfully convincing the Expedia Group to stop selling trips which include swimming with dolphins, the World Animal Protection’s (WAP) next goal is to determine TUI Group to do the same.
According to the organisation, the group profits from over 400 dolphins held captive in more than 25 venues. “Dolphins kept in captivity for entertainment purposes suffer for a lifetime”, WAP says, asking TUI to stop the holiday exploration.
Since the group refused to respond to the organisation’s plea, WAP asked BAFTA-winning writer and actor Jolyon Rubinstein to help draw attention to their cause and petition. Together, they rebranded one of the offices of the group, playing on TUI’s “Live Happy” campaign, drawing attention on the captive dolphin’s unhappy lives. TUI’s smile logo was flipped upside down to show an unhappy dolphin alongside the call to #FreeTUi from animal cruelty by ending ticket sales to cruel captive dolphin venues.
I was shocked and appalled when World Animal Protection told me that in 2022, it is still possible to get tickets for these deeply cruel attractions in the UK.Jolyon Rubinstein
“There is simply no way to justify confining these intelligent, sentient creatures to tiny tanks where they are forced to perform circus tricks for tourist entertainment. So we decided to give a TUI store an ‘honest rebrand’ to highlight just how exploitative the ‘good wholesome family fun’ that TUI is peddling really is”, Rubinstein said about the cooperation with WAP.
The organisation highlights how dolphins swim up to 100 square kilometres a day in their natural habitat, while the tanks they are held in are 200,000 times smaller than that. Being kept in such conditions exposes them to infections and chemicals used to clean the water. They often develop anxiety and depression from only being able to swim a few metres per day and not being able to interact with other dolphins. This can lead to self-mutilation and aggressivity, which makes handlers sometimes drug them.
Exploiting dolphins for entertainment is distressing and traumatising for the animals involved. This is an industry built on suffering. It’s no way for a wild animal to live.World Animal Protection
“Dolphins at TUI venues are made to perform in shows, interact with tourists and live in cruel and unnatural conditions for the sake of huge profits. We are calling for TUI Group and other travel companies to end the sale and promotion of venues abroad that use dolphins for entertainment – an archaic attraction that ended in the UK in 1993 due to our strict animal welfare requirements for whales and dolphins in captivity”, points out Katheryn Wise, campaigns manager at World Animal Protection.
The petition has almost reached its goal, only needing a little over 9,000 more signature to reach the 70,000 it aims for.