Globus family of brands is committed to responsible tourism and protecting animals who are impacted by the travel industry. We have developed this animal welfare policy as animal encounters have become increasingly popular as part of people’s vacation experiences.
Globus family of brands believes that all animals should be respected for their intrinsic value and that the best way to experience animals while on vacation is by seeing them in the wild, whether on safari or at a genuine sanctuary.
When under human care, both domesticated and non-domesticated (wild) animals, must have ‘a good life’ by enjoying good physical and mental health. The conditions they are provided must favor positive experiences over negative ones within an environment that encourages making choices and enables them to express the widest possible range of natural behaviors.
Globus family of brands also recognizes that the needs of wild animals can never be fully met in captivity. Where wild animals are kept in captivity, the facility must not only provide them with best possible welfare conditions, but it must also contribute towards a shift away from exploitative practices and be supportive of phasing out keeping wild animals for commercial purposes.
Domesticated animals are animals that have been selectively bred for generations and adapted to live alongside humans; that includes working animals such as horses, donkeys, and camels. Suppliers that provide experiences with domesticated animals must demonstrate they do meet the nutrition, health, environment, behavioral, and mental needs of the animals. Where interactions are allowed, working animals must not be overworked, overloaded, or working in extreme conditions (e.g., heat or urban environments that endanger the animal), and they must have proper shelter, veterinary care, and appropriate food and water.
Globus family of brands has chosen to work with suppliers if the animals under their care are provided with the highest possible welfare in line with the “Five Domains of Animal Welfare”:
- Nutrition – factors that involve the animal’s access to sufficient, balanced, varied, and clean food and water.
- Environment – factors that enable comfort through temperature, substrate, space, air, odor, noise, and predictability.
- Health – factors that enable good health through absence of disease, injury, impairment, and good fitness level.
- Behavior – factors that provide varied, novel, and engaging environmental challenges through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding, playing, retreating, and others.
- Mental State – by presenting positive situations in the previous four functional domains, the mental state of the animal should benefit from predominantly positive states, such as pleasure, comfort, or vitality, while reducing negative states such as fear, frustration, hunger, pain, or boredom.
We recognize that an important element of many travel experiences is learning and observing animals. These experiences often connect travelers to a culture or place and help travelers gain appreciation for the diversity in the world. We believe that animal experiences should educate travelers about the nature, conservation, and welfare of animals, including their status as sentient beings with inherent value. With that in mind, while we endeavor to provide life-changing travel opportunities, we strive to do so in a way that is respectful and ethical. Globus family of brands has implemented practices that vet and select reputable suppliers who put the welfare of animals at the forefront of the experience. These guidelines are currently in practice, and we are committed to full compliance by the end of 2024.
At Globus family of brands, we DO NOT sell or promote venues and/or activities that offer travelers any of the following experiences:
- Close interaction with wild animals, such as, touching or riding, including but not limited to elephant riding and bathing, swimming with dolphins or walking with lions; such practices may seem harmless, but the training practices involved to ensure safe interactions are stressful for the animal and often involve use of restraints, bull hooks, and/or physical discipline/punishment. This includes the following interactions:
- Big Cat Interactions such as cub petting, lion walks, or photo ‘selfies’; many lions and other predators are currently bred in captivity for the sole purpose of supporting these interactive experiences.
- Photo opportunities with wild animals, including, but not limited to big cats, sloths, or primates, tiger selfies, dolphin kissing, sea lions, or selfies with orangutans. These types of venues often breed animals for this use, take young animals prematurely from their mothers, or practice physical and psychological condition to ensure animals remain compliant.
- Attractions that promote wild animal performances, including but not limited to dolphin shows, killer whale/ orca shows, circuses, bears performing & riding bicycles, alligator/crocodile shows, orangutan boxing.
- Activities that involve the use of animals in fighting, included but not limited to bullfighting, bear baiting, cock fighting, dog fighting, or crocodile wrestling.
- Visiting facilities where captive wild animals are bred and kept for commercial products, including but not limited to crocodile farms, civet coffee farms, bear bile farms, turtle farms.
- Consuming food that threatens the survival of a species in the wild, such as bush meat, tiger wine, bear bile, shark fin, turtle meat, snake blood, or civet coffee.
- Many local public markets that we may visit on tours sell wild animal products (including skins, horns, butterflies, turtle shells, scales, ivory, and more). While some of these items may not be illegal, we strongly discourage our guests from making purchases that continue to support these trades.
- We do not sell, promote or encourage travelers to purchase food products including but not limited to shark fin soup, turtle soup, bear bile, civet coffee, bush meat, snake blood, and tiger wine.
- Excursions that involve sport or trophy hunting.
When not in conflict with any of the above guidelines, Globus family of brands does offer and/or promotes the following venues and activities where our guests can responsibly learn about, watch and/or interact with animals:
We support encounters where guests can observe animals in their natural environment from a suitable distance without disruption to the animal’s natural behavior and routing. Drivers and guides will not chase or lure animals. Guests should avoid direct contact with wild animals, avoid feeding or taking wildlife selfies that promote close proximity. E.g., whale watching experiences certified by the Whale Cetacean Alliance (WCA).
Animal Rides & Events
(includes carriage rides, oxen rides)
Domestic/ working animals such as horses, donkeys/mules, and camels are included in select destinations worldwide. Excursion providers must demonstrate appropriate licenses, validate conditions of work (e.g., hours, environment), and animals must have proper shelter, care, food, and water. Animals must have proper veterinary care. We do not include excursions that offer rides on elephants, big cats, dolphins, and other wild animals.
In addition to proper care, food and water, suppliers must demonstrate responsible animal care practices, such as provision of appropriate shelter from variable weather, humane housing, regular vet care, and proper training for the activity. Animals should be allowed adequate daily rest and not forced to work beyond their physical capabilities. Animals are trained using positive reinforcement versus physical punishment. Every precaution and safety measure must be taken to ensure the safety of the animals. The operator must have animal welfare policies and standards that they actively follow and require their staff to follow.
Genuine animal sanctuaries, rehabilitation facilities, and rescue centers that have the highest possible standards of animal care. E.g., sanctuaries certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). Only visit facilities involving wild animals in captivity if the rationale for the sanctuary operation is in the best interests of the animals involved and exists to rescue and help animals. We only visit animal sanctuaries and/or rescue centers operating with the highest animal welfare and conservation standards possible. Sanctuaries do not use animals for performances or guest interactions; do not buy or sell wild animals or products derived for them; nor do they breed wild animals unless part of an officially recognized breeding program where animals are being responsibly released back into the wild.
Zoos and aquariums that are accredited by members of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Zoos and Aquariums are evaluated to ensure they meet the five domains of animal welfare and must demonstrate they play a role in conservation of species. Venues included do not use wild animals for entertainment/performances, do not hold cetaceans (whales/dolphins) in captivity and they do not keep animals solely for profit. Animals should be kept in enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitat and space to move naturally. Staff are fully trained in animal care, and veterinarians available 24 hours a day to treat animals.Limitations are put on viewing times to reduce stress on animals.
Among other questions we ask our suppliers, our team evaluates each experience with the following key questions in mind:
- Are wild animals forced to perform tricks in shows, or coerced to participate in an activity?
- Are guests able to ride, touch, hold, walk, or swim with wild animals?
- Does the attraction sell animal parts or products from wild animals?
- Does the excursion provider chase, lure with food, or deliberately bring guests too close to wild animals for better viewing?
- Do the wild animals live in an environment that does not meet the ‘Five Domains of Animal Welfare”? (i.e., food, environment, health, behavior and mental state)
- Does the venue have a wild animal breeding program? Are there baby animals at the venue?
These guidelines were created in consultation with World Animal Protection, an organization committed to improving the lives of animals worldwide and to ensure they live free from suffering.
In the event there are concerns that an experience does not meet our outlined policy, we encourage our guests to raise these concerns as part of their guest experience survey. Our team will follow up accordingly with suppliers and revisit the experience to ensure it continues to meet our established policy.