Global trends of responsible tourism are showing that tourists and the wider industry are progressively moving away from exploitative wildlife interactions. In 2019, the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) published southern African industry guidelines and a decision-making tool on captive animal interactions, showing the world that South Africa can lead the way on animal welfare and ethical wildlife tourism.
For more information see our #ThinkBeforeYouGo campaign.
Our 2021 #ThinkBeforeYouGo campaign, took us back to basics and focused on the exploitation of captive wildlife and promoting the #KeepItWild concept. Through the campaign, we unravelled the SATSA Guidelines and Decision-Making Tool, which are highly relevant and useful tools to help you make more objective and ethical choices when visiting captive wildlife facilities.
There are only a handful of authentic and true wildlife sanctuaries in South Africa which do not breed or trade their animals, nor do they allow any human interactions with the animals in their care. Genuine sanctuaries build their facilities for the benefit of the animals, not to maximise commercial exploitation.
To date, more than 200 tourism operators from around the world have signed the Blood Lions Born to Live Wild pledge, representing nearly 2,000 member organisations. By signing the pledge, they commit to not knowingly support any operator that contributes to the cycle of captive breeding, canned hunting and commercial exploitation of wild animals.
Many professional hunting associations have also distanced themselves from canned hunting, including the US-based Safari Club International and Dallas Safari Club, as well as Custodians of Professional Hunting & Conservation in South Africa. In addition, since 2015, 40+ major international airlines have refused the cargo of lion trophies, and countries like Australia, France, Netherlands, Finland and USA have implemented bans on the import of lion trophies.