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Qantas to end promotion of attractions featuring captive cetaceans

Qantas to end promotion of attractions featuring captive cetaceans
August 30, 2019

Qantas has confirmed it will no longer promote attractions that keep captive cetaceans, assuring guests that it has a ‘responsibility as Australia’s largest airline’.

This follows news that both British Airways Holidays and Virgin Holidays have stopped selling tickets to similar attractions.

Qantas confirmed to Yahoo Lifestyle that it has also cut ties with attractions that use captive dolphins and whales.

While not naming any individual attractions, a Qantas spokesperson advised “we don’t promote these types of venues.

“As Australia’s largest airline we know we have a responsibility to ensure organisations we partner with meet our own expectations and that of the community.”

Earlier this month, British Airways Holidays announced a new partnership with international wildlife charity Born Free, with which it has developed an animal welfare strategy.

As part of the strategy, British Airways Holidays will no longer promote the captivity of wild animals and will no longer sell tickets to attractions where captive wild animals are “central to the attraction”.

Meanwhile, Virgin Holidays has stopped selling and promoting tourism attractions that have captive whales and dolphins, including US attractions SeaWorld and Discovery Cove.

In response to Virgin Holidays’ announcement, Dan Ashe, President and Chief Executive of the US-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said the body is “very disappointed”.

Responding to British Airway’s decision, SeaWorld Entertainment Chief Executive, Gus Antorcha stated "pressuring companies and trying to shame them into cutting ties with independently accredited zoos and aquariums works against the vital research and conservation work to protect these animals.”

Qantas has not indicated if the move will impact Sea World on the Gold Coast, or any other specific attraction. Australia's Sea World - a division of Village Roadshow - has no affiliation with US-based SeaWorld Entertainment.

Image shows a scene from the influential 2013 documentary Blackfish - on the life of a killer whale (orca) at the Sealand of the Pacific attraction in the USA.

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15th June 2019 - Coffs Harbour Dolphin Marine Conservation Park moves forward sea-pen sanctuary plan

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2nd January 2019 - Queensland Government to allow dolphin feeding to continue in Tin Can Bay

15th December 2018 - Animal activists disrupt Sea World dolphin and seal shows

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26th October 2017 - Qantas’ Alan Joyce acknowledged for backing gay marriage

29th June 2017 - SeaWorld Entertainment releases inaugural corporate responsibility report

28th February 2017 - South Korean authorities investigate aquaria following dolphin death

30th January 2017 - SeaWorld to open on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island

15th October 2016 - TripAdvisor bans ticket sales to attractions that allow contact with wild animals

22nd June 2016 - Breeding success at Resorts World Sentosa’s Dolphin Island

14th May 2016 - Queensland Government backs Sea World’s marine mammal conservation work

22nd March 2016 - SeaWorld USA to move away from killer whale shows

6th February 2016 - Qantas Australian Tourism Awards recognise industry excellence

22nd May 2015 - Japanese aquariums to stop taking dolphins from annual Taiji hunt

25th March 2015 - International zoo association accused of overlooking horrific animal cruelty

6th June 2014 - Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium dives in to support endangered dolphins

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