Camel Rides Exposed: How to Research Animal Cruelty

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camel rides
Dromedaries in the wild. (Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash)

A recent video exposé from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia has driven 8 major travel companies to stop promoting or selling tickets for camel rides at the pyramids of Giza in Egypt—and left meeting planners questioning how they can evaluate such activities for their groups.

The 8 companies—Scott Dunn, TCS World Travel, Wilderness Travel, Travel Leaders Group, Tauck, Abercrombie & Kent USA, Grand Circle Corporation and Artisans of Leisure—all agreed to disassociate from the camel rides in response to the video, which shows the camels used for rides at Giza and other Egyptian tourist sites being harshly treated — in some cases beaten until bloody, tugged by the nose, or forced to walk on their knees.

Here are a few places where you can research activities involving animals to ensure that they are being treated ethically:

• The Animal Protection Index is a nation-by-nation scoring of national animal protection and anti-cruelty laws compiled by the animal welfare group World Animal Protection. Earlier this year, World Animal Protection released a report ranking major travel companies on their commitment to avoiding profiting from exploitative wildlife experiences.

• The 2023 Tracking the Travel Industry report ranked companies based on their animal welfare policies, targets for progress in meeting animal welfare commitments, engagement with the industry and suppliers, and providing resources empowering consumers to make wildlife-friendly choices.

• The PETA web site highlights ongoing investigations of animal cruelty, ranging from donkey rides in Santorini to elephant rides in Thailand. PETA  opposes other types of animal encounters and tourism involving animals, including everything from swimming with dolphins to attending bullfights.

This article first appeared in our sister publication, Recommend.

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