BA partners with Born Free to tackle wildlife captivity

Mark Johnson's picture

Still licking its wounds from an IT fiasco that left thousands of its passengers without flights this week, British Airways has announced a new long-term partnership with leading international wildlife charity Born Free.

The airline's package holiday division, British Airways Holidays, said it has been working with Born Free over the last year to develop a new animal welfare strategy which also launches today.

The strategy, which outlines British Airways Holidays' policy in relation to wildlife, sees the travel company commit to never promoting the captivity of wild animals and discouraging its hotel partners from doing so.  

Captivity clampdown

From today, all attractions where captive wild animals are central to the attraction have been removed from its website, BA.com.

Wildlife wonder: BA and Born Free vow to tackle wildlife captivity

While it will continue to offer customers the opportunity to book rooms in certain hotels that keep wild animals onsite, customers will not be able to book tickets for any animal attractions through British Airways Holidays. 

These hotels will be clearly labelled as keeping wild animals onsite in captivity to allow customers to make an informed choice when booking their holiday.

“Our customers tell us they have concerns about wild animals being kept in captivity, and increasingly see animal performances in particular as outdated”, Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays said. 

“We are delighted to have worked with Born Free to develop our new strategy which allows our customers to make more informed choices and we are contacting all our hotel and attraction partners about our new approach.”

Global online alert system

The new policy is being announced at the same time as Born Free launches its new global online alert system, giving customers the opportunity to report captive animal suffering, BA said. 

Supported by British Airways Holidays, Raise the Red Flag not only allows people to make the charity aware of potential cases that may require its help but will also raise awareness of sites animal lovers may want to avoid, both in the UK and abroad. 

“We are delighted that as part of our new and exciting partnership, British Airways Holidays has committed to supporting both the creation of a new sanctuary space for rescued wild animals and to support our new initiative Raise the Red Flag”, Dr. Chris Draper, Head of Animal Welfare & 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.”

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