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Animal Welfare

Wildlife and Animal Welfare

Protecting and Conserving Wildlife

An Exodus wildlife holiday is designed to let you get up close and personal with some of the world’s most incredible species. Exodus works hard to ensure that all wildlife interactions on our trips meet the highest standards of animal welfare, wildlife conservation, community well-being, and sustainability. We are proud to support initiatives like Wildlife Heritage Areas which help show how communities and tourism can protect wildlife for future generations as well as organisations such as TOFTigers and the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme. Our support of wildlife conservation is further deepened by our partnership  Our support of wildlife conservation is further deepened by our partnership with Rewilding Apennines and through the work of The Exodus Adventure Travels Foundation. 

Supporting Wildlife Heritage Areas

Exodus Adventure Travels is a proud supporter of Wildlife Heritage Areas, a new global benchmark from World Animal Protection and the World Cetacean Alliance to identify tourism destinations meeting high standards of animal welfare, wildlife conservation, community well-being, and sustainability. The Wildlife Heritage Area programme connects responsible travel companies like Exodus with wildlife experts and local communities as a network to designate wildlife-friendly and community-based tourism destinations to deliver better outcomes for wild animals and the people that live in surrounding areas. 

By rewarding local communities for their role in protecting habitats and responsible wildlife watching, these Wildlife Heritage Areas will generate pride and income for communities while reversing biodiversity loss and facilitating climate resilience in order to help solve some of the planet’s most urgent issues. 

Click here to read more about Wildlife Heritage Area goals.

Animal Welfare
Santa Barbara Channel, California

Exodus Adventure Travels’ Animal Welfare Policy

We believe that our tours should never negatively impact the welfare of animals we encounter on our adventures and should, where possible, create benefit by contributing benefit their welfare and contribute towards their protection. We recognise that ensuring this happens is an ongoing process and are committed to continuously assessing any animal interaction, be it passive or active, which takes place on our trips. 

Our animal welfare policy is largely based on ABTA’s global and industry-leading animal welfare guidelines. Exodus Adventure Travels, together with others in the industry and a number of animal welfare experts, helped to develop these guidelines.

Contributing towards the welfare and conservation of animals on our trips is just one of the ways we seek to deliver on our Nature Positive commitment – enduring our adventures give back more to nature than they take. This includes our support of wildlife conservation through our partnership with Rewilding Apennines and through the work of The Exodus Travels Foundation

Our animal welfare policy

Exodus deems the following practices as unacceptable and does not offer these as activities on tour, either included or optional:
  • Physical interaction with wild animals such as holding, petting or taking photos where the animal does not have the choice of terminating the interaction and moving away
  • Performances involving wild animals where the training involves punishment or food deprivation and causes animal fear, injury or distress, or where the tasks are not based on normal behaviour
  • Physical interaction with elephants and/or elephant shows for tourists
  • ‘Walking with’ wild cats, such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, etc.
  • Physical interaction or feeding of wild animals such as crocodiles, sloths, chimpanzees, orcas, etc. whether in captivity or in the wild
  • Ostrich riding
  • Using animals for begging, such as snake charming, monkeys on chains, dancing bears, etc.
  • Animals being used for fighting, such as bull fighting, cockfighting, dog fighting, etc.
  • Drugging of animals to subdue them 
  • Trade and sale of endangered wildlife products or consumption of meat from endangered animals
  • Rodeo events that conduct calf-roping, team-roping, steer wrangling and other activities which are detrimental to the animals’ wellbeing
  • Hunting of any kind
  • Activities involving captive whales and dolphins
Exodus commits to only visiting establishments where animals are held in captivity (such as animal refuges and sanctuaries) when the following criteria are met:
  • The facility’s primary function is for the protection of specific animals or of the species
  • All the nutritional, environmental, social, physical and mental needs are met to a good standard
  • All other animal welfare standards are met
Exodus uses working animals on several trips, such as mules or yaks for carrying equipment during treks, dog sledding or riding horses and/or camels. Exodus commits to only using working animals when the following criteria are met: 
  • Animals should only train/work within their physical capabilities (e.g. loads carried should be appropriate for the animal’s weight and size)
  • Any equipment used should fit comfortably and not cause distress or injury
  • Animals which are young, elderly, injured, ill, distressed or pregnant should not be ridden or required to carry loads
  • All the nutritional, environmental, social, physical and mental needs are met to a good standard
  • Tethering or hobbling during non-working periods should be kept to a minimum and should allow for the animal to stand, lie, and access food, water and shade without putting tension in the tether
When viewing animals in the wild, Exodus commits to the following:
  • Groups viewing wildlife should be kept to a reasonable number of members
  • Groups viewing wildlife should keep a reasonable distance from the wildlife
  • Groups viewing wildlife should always be accompanied by professional guides, rangers or other staff who can inform tourists on how to behave around the wildlife
  • Animals should never be charged, cornered, or boxed in
  • Wildlife should never be touched or fed by tourists
  • The animal’s welfare takes priority over the visitor’s experience 

Should you have any concerns or questions around animal welfare on any of our adventures, please email sustainability@exodus.co.uk.