Hashtags to watch:
Louise says that it’s time to bring about the necessary change to the tourism industry to make it a more responsible and fair for all, including wildlife in captivity.
Louise writes on Facebook:
Our #HandsOffOurWildlife campaign aims to create a greater awareness of the issues around unethical and even cruel captive wildlife interactions by educating the public and the tourism industry at large. Awareness and education is the first step towards more responsible choices. As more people becoming conscious of the ethics of wildlife held in captivity, small ripples will be created adding to a global shift towards a more responsible tourism industry.
The campaign communicates a very clear and transparent message. A message that makes choices for tourists and operators easy in terms of doing the right thing when it comes to animal and wildlife related activities. Any activity that allows animals to be touched, trains animals to perform, and/or forces animals into unnatural behaviour, such as riding or even walking with people, should not only be avoided, but banned forever. Hence the #HandsOffOurWildlife hashtag.
We also like to draw attention to the positive stories in our industry and the more responsible choices people can make, so we can collectively work towards a more responsible tourism industry, one that only reflects positively on Brand SA.
Excerpt: I have been asked on numerous occasions why we make our #HandsOffOurWildlife campaign so public. Why don’t we communicate with these people by email? Obviously, part of the reason for taking the campaign public is to raise awareness on the various captive wildlife and welfare issues. However, also because we have tried and tested almost all means of communication with varying degrees of success. Unless organisations feel the pressure on public platforms, it’s all too easy to ignore tricky questions.