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Travel industry urged to do more for animal welfare
Swimming with dolphins can have serious animal welfare and safety risks. 
RSPCA calls on tour operators to review all animal attractions 

Following news that tour operator Thomas Cook is to cease selling tickets to attractions keeping orcas in captivity, the RSPCA is calling on the travel industry to do more to endorse good animal welfare overseas.

The leading animal charity said that it would love to see more holiday companies follow in the footsteps of Thomas Cook, and go even further by reviewing all of the animal attractions they sell tickets for.

“We’re really pleased that Thomas Cook has taken this step and appreciate how important the welfare of the animals in tourist attractions is,” said Adam Grogan, head of wildlife at the RSPCA. “We’d also urge all holiday-makers to keep this in mind when they’re planning their trips and to avoid taking part in any activity or visiting any attraction where animal welfare is not of the utmost importance.

“It’s our ethical responsibility to lead the rest of the world by example and take a stand to show that we do not condone any kind of cruelty to animals.”

To help promote ethical tourism, the RSPCA has put together top tips for taking an animal-friendly holiday. They include not taking selfies with animals like chimps and monkeys, not riding elephants, and remembering to donate to local animal welfare charities.

“Riding an elephant, swimming with dolphins, cuddling a tiger cub, or taking a picture with a monkey may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience but all of these can have very serious animal welfare and safety risks for tourists,” said Paul Littlefair, head of RSPCA’s international team.

“We work in many countries throughout the world to prevent animal cruelty, and tourism can also play a big part in tackling this. If there is a demand for activities like these and money to be made then cruel practices will continue.

“It’s important to research the activities you are taking part in first and if you are in any doubt, look for ethical alternatives.”

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”