What you can do
Despite there being laws in Indonesia that aim to prevent cruelty to animals, these appear to be insufficient and not appropriately enforced. It’s up to us, as tourists, to be a part of the solution, says Pearson, by making conscious, ethical travel choices and avoiding these cruel venues and travel companies that promote, sell and support these venues. And with 86,000 New Zealand tourists flocking to Bali in 2017, there is huge potential to create change.
“World Animal Protection is urging New Zealand tourists to avoid these venues, and boycott the travel companies that promote, sell and support them. If you can ride, hug or have a selfie with a wild animal, the chances are that animal has been subjected to cruelty,” Pearson says. “We are calling on all travel companies in New Zealand to audit their Bali offerings and ensure they are not supporting the venues mentioned in this report,” he adds.
To date, World Animal Protection has worked with nearly 200 travel companies, including YOU Travel and House of Travel in New Zealand, to stop offering elephant rides and shows in travel packages. “It sends a clear signal to other operators that they can no longer ignore this issue; and selling such cruelty can no longer be hidden.”
For more information, see worldanimalprotection.org.nz.