Thomas Cook Group is not selling elephant rides or shows in any of its markets. The Group stopped offering elephant excursions to our UK and Northern European customers some time ago, and our businesses on the Continent, including Germany, have also removed elephant excursions from their programmes. Although some excursion details featured in earlier printed brochures, we can confirm that these trips are no longer available to customers.
We are proud to be an industry leader in animal welfare, having been instrumental in the development of the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines for suppliers of excursions involving animals, and an accompanying checklist which allows tour operators to assess suppliers. Thomas Cook Group is an active member of ABTA, and in particular its sustainability working group. It sits on the Travelife steering group, an audit we advocate all hotels to adhere to.
We continue to work closely with industry partners and NGOs to improve animal welfare and we are currently planning an audit programme with external auditors to ensure we meet our own standards as well as those set by ABTA. We can also confirm that we have advised animal welfare groups such as World Animal Protection to ensure they are aware of our responsible animal welfare policy.