A British MP, who raised the cruelty towards elephant issue in parliament, asked what steps the UK Government had taken to discourage tourism from the UK to Myanmar and Sri Lanka in which cruelty to elephants has been reported.
MP Dr. Rupa Huq asked the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs whether the UK has taken any steps to discourage tourism to countries including Sri Lanka and Myanmar where cruelty to elephants were reported by the NGOs.
Responding to the question, Parliamentary Under Secretary David Rutley said on Monday that the government has been working with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to encourage them to make their customers aware of the reported issues around Asian elephants.
He said tourists should consider whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that animals have been mistreated before deciding whether to visit an animal attraction.
“We would encourage tourists to report any animal welfare concerns to their UK tour operator or travel agent on return to the UK. The UK is home to some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world. We hope that British citizens continue to respect these standards when they travel abroad,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)