British Airways axes holidays to attractions with captive animals

British Airways Holidays has announced it will no longer be selling holiday packages to attractions which feature captive wild animals, including SeaWorld .

The news comes just weeks after Virgin Holidays axed its SeaWorld holidays and other attractions with whales and dolphins.

The company revealed the news earlier this month as part of a new partnership with international wildlife charity Born Free.

BA said that all attractions where captive wild animals are central to the attraction have been removed from its website, as part of a new animal welfare strategy it has launched with the charity.

The company said it had already contacted partners to let them know of the change in policy.

It will also support a new space for rescued big cats in a sanctuary in South Africa.

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have concerns about wild animals being kept in captivity, and increasingly see animal performances in particular as outdated. 

"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."

However, the company said that it will continue to offer bookings in hotels where wild animals are on-site, but customers won't be able to book tickets for any animal attractions through its holiday provider.

It also said it would be clearly labelling the hotels where animals are on-site in captivity to allow holidaymakers to make an informed choice.

The news comes as Born Free has launched a new online alert system, Raise the Red Flag , allowing holidaymakers to report any captive animal suffering.

Dr. Chris Draper, Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, at Born Free said: "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 .

" 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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