Fair Trade Tourism Wildlife Pet­ting Pol­icy

Tourism Tattler - - CONTENTS -

Fair Trade Tourism's cer­ti­fi­ca­tion cri­te­ria do not per­mit any phys­i­cal in­ter­ac­tion be­tween tourists and po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous wildlife such as li­ons, chee­tahs and leop­ards.

While some Fair Trade cer­ti­fied mem­bers, such as Tenikwa Wildlife Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Aware­ness Cen­tre (see page 00) had pre­vi­ously al­lowed tourist-an­i­mal con­tact in some of their pro­grammes, this prac­tice ceased prior to its cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Tenikwa's new no-con­tact pol­icy was val­i­dated by an in­de­pen­dent au­di­tor dur­ing Fair Trade Tourism's com­pre­hen­sive au­dit process.

Fair Trade Tourism prides it­self on be­ing the only tourism cer­ti­fi­ca­tion body that has in­tro­duced spe­cific au­ditable cri­te­ria around cap­tive wildlife in Africa.

“In 2016 we un­der­went a re­view of our cer­ti­fi­ca­tion cri­te­ria, largely in re­sponse to the huge growth in the vol­un­teer sec­tor and con­comi­tant rise in an­i­mal and hu­man or­phan­age pro­grammes, which were un­reg­u­lated and open to abuse. It was be­com­ing clear that many vol­un­teer ex­pe­ri­ences are detri­men­tal to the chil­dren or an­i­mals they pro­claim to be help­ing, es­pe­cially in the case of or­phan­age and lion cub pet­ting pro­grammes. Many of these pro­grammes make fraud­u­lent claims about con­ser­va­tion or child wel­fare and are ex­ploita­tive of the vol­un­teers them­selves,” says Jane Edge, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Fair Trade Tourism.

Fair Trade Tourism's re­vised cer­ti­fi­ca­tion cri­te­ria were in­formed by a range of ex­pert sources in­clud­ing Bet­ter Vol­un­teer­ing, Tourism Watch, UNICEF, En­dan­gered Wildlife Trust, Wildlife Act, the Con­ven­tion on Bio­di­ver­sity, and the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish Travel Agents' (ABTA's) Global Wel­fare Guid­ance for An­i­mals in Tourism. A num­ber of South­ern African vol­un­teer or­gan­i­sa­tions also gave their in­put.

The re­vised cri­te­ria, ef­fec­tive from 1 June 2016, do not al­low for any phys­i­cal con­tact by tourists or vol­un­teers with an­i­mals listed as Haz­ard Cat­e­gory 1 in the ABTA An­i­mal Wel­fare Guide­lines, which is con­sid­ered to be the most com­pre­hen­sive world­wide. Such an­i­mals in­clude large and medium-sized car­ni­vores, ele­phants, rhi­nos, large apes, hip­pos, os­trich, croc­o­diles and ven­omous snakes. The new cri­te­ria also do not al­low tourists or vol­un­teers to in­ter­act with any child or vul­ner­a­ble per­son un­less un­der con­tin­u­ous, qual­i­fied adult su­per­vi­sion.

To achieve Fair Trade Tourism cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, mem­bers need to com­ply with 100% of the manda­tory cer­ti­fi­ca­tion cri­te­ria, based on the prin­ci­ples of fair wages and work­ing con­di­tions, eth­i­cal busi­ness prac­tices and re­spect for hu­man rights, cul­ture and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Among these cri­te­ria are stip­u­la­tions that a cap­tive wildlife fa­cil­ity keep up-to-date records of all an­i­mals in its care, in­clud­ing their his­tory and des­ti­na­tion, and death cer­tifi­cates where ap­pli­ca­ble. The mem­ber must also en­sure that wild an­i­mals are not en­cour­aged to be­have in a way that is not nat­u­ral or in­nate to their species, and must pro­vide doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence that an­i­mals were not ob­tained from the wild, un­less for a con­ser­va­tion need as iden­ti­fied by an in­de­pen­dent con­ser­va­tion au­thor­ity. The mem­ber must also pro­vide the pub­lic with ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion on wildlife con­ser­va­tion and an­i­mal wel­fare rel­e­vant to its op­er­a­tions.

Fair Trade Tourism's cri­te­ria also re­quire demon­strated sup­port and con­tri­bu­tion to bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion.

“In this re­gard, Tenikwa's work as an NGO in­volves treat­ing over 250 in­jured or aban­doned wild an­i­mals an­nu­ally for re­lease back into the wild where pos­si­ble. In the broader com­mu­nity, Tenikwa runs work­shops on how to deal with in­jured wildlife, is a mem­ber of the Pop­u­la­tion Re­in­force­ment Work­ing Group for the African Pen­guin and plays an im­por­tant role in tur­tle con­ser­va­tion in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Two Ocean Aquar­ium. Tenikwa works closely with con­ser­va­tion au­thor­i­ties such as CapeNa­ture, SANParks, and the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, and in 2016 the fa­cil­ity won an award from Birdlife SA for its role in con­ser­va­tion.” con­cludes Edge. For more in­for­ma­tion, De­vel­op­ment Sup­port at www.fairtrade.travel. con­tact Fair Trade Tourism Busi­ness info@fairtrade.travel or ap­ply on­line on at

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