Our Animal Welfare Policy
Many tourism attractions around the world feature live animals in some way, whether in the wild or in captivity. At Tripadvisor, we believe every attraction has a responsibility to ensure that any animals in its care are treated humanely.
We know that most attraction operators act responsibly, and agree with the basic precept of treating animals humanely. But we also know that worldwide, the standards of care that animals receive can vary depending on local laws.
As an online platform used by millions, we recognize the role Tripadvisor can play in driving improvements in animal welfare standards across the tourism industry. As a result, we are proud to have introduced a set of industry-leading animal welfare guidelines that every bookable experience sold on our platform must comply with.
Here are the guidelines in full:
Physical interaction with animals in captivity
Tripadvisor will not sell tickets to, or generate booking revenue from, specific experiences where tourists come into physical contact with captive wild animals unless certain exceptional circumstances apply.
The circumstances in which Tripadvisor would allow for sale an experience that involves physical contact between guests and captive wild animals are as follows:
- Aquarium touch pools used for education purposes, where tourists are under the supervision of zoo, aquarium and or wildlife officials
- Invertebrate touch and feel experiences (such as spider/insect experiences) used for education purposes, where tourists are under the supervision of zoo, aquarium and or wildlife officials
- Any feeding or touching program in a captive environment, conducted under the supervision of zoo and or wildlife officials, where physical interaction is initiated by the animals themselves as a natural behavior (i.e. the animals are not drugged, baited or intimidated into compliance) and where those animals can disengage from contact at will
- Voluntourism programs for endangered species preservation at zoos, aquariums or sanctuaries where it is possible that there might be some level of physical interaction with an animal
Experiences or attractions that involve only domestic animals, such as horseback riding or children’s petting zoos, are eligible for sale on Tripadvisor.
Shows and Performances
Tripadvisor will not sell tickets to, or generate revenue from, specific experiences where captive wild or endangered animals are forced to perform demeaning tricks or other unnatural behaviors in front of the general public, or where they are featured as part of a live circus or stage entertainment act in a demeaning manner (including imitating humans, such as dressing up in costume).
Demeaning acts are defined as those where an animal may be either drugged or forcibly trained to behave or comply in an unnatural way, and which do not provide either necessary stimulation, exercise or veterinary care to that animal.
Cetaceans (Whales and Dolphins)
Tripadvisor will not sell tickets to, or directly generate revenue from, attractions or experiences where captive cetaceans are placed on public display, with the exception of:
Whale and dolphin seaside sanctuaries
Guest experiences that take place at the following types of facilities are eligible for sale:
- Any sanctuary facility that provides all of its captive cetaceans with a permanent seaside living environment.
- Any commercial or not-for-profit facility that is in the process of developing, alternative seaside sanctuary environments for captive cetaceans and that has made a public commitment to rehouse all captive cetaceans in its care to these environments in an expedient manner.
A seaside sanctuary environment is defined as a natural body of coastal water, such as a bay or cove, that houses cetaceans in as close to a natural environment as possible while providing protection and oversight from qualified husbandry and veterinary staff.
Seaside sanctuaries must adhere to a strict no-breeding policy, must not train their animals to perform in any shows or performances for public display, and must prohibit all forms of physical interaction between guests and the animals, including any in-water guest experiences.
Subject to any other relevant policy stipulations, guest experiences at the following types of facilities may also be eligible for sale:
Any accredited* facility that has made an official and public commitment to implement all of the following practices:
- Cease and prevent the breeding of cetaceans in its care
- Cease the importation of captive cetaceans from other facilities for public display
- Cease the capture and importation of wild cetaceans for public display
*Accreditation must be provided by a member association of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)
Tripadvisor will not sell tickets to any attraction that is found to be in breach of the Tripadvisor listing policy as it relates to the harming or killing of animals.
This policy stipulates that Tripadvisor does not list attractions where the primary purpose of the business includes:
- The harming or killing of endangered species in the wild (such as the hunting of endangered animals); and/or
- The harming or killing of any captive animal (such as bloodsport attractions)
- Feeding demonstrations that involve live animals being fed to other animals for entertainment (e.g. feeding live cows to lions).