2017 has been a pretty wonderful year for ethical travellers…
1. Vietnam Denied A Dolphin Park ProposalWhen a new dolphin park was proposed in Danang, Vietnam the world jumped into action. 200 animal welfare charities spoke out against it, and 16,000 people signed an Animals Asia petition. Proving the general public no longer wants this type of “entertainment.”
Dolphins would have been captured from the wild, kept in tiny tanks performing for food and suffered physical pain, severe psychological distress, shortened lifespans, and an all in all poor quality of life.
But instead, those dolphins are still wild and free.
2. Ireland & Estonia Banned Wild Animals In CircusesIreland & Estonia are the latest countries to ban the use of wild animals in circuses!
They now stand alongside Austria, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, El Salvador, Greece, Israel, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Bonus 2017 circus wins: New York banned elephants from circuses and India banned wild circus animals from performing tricks.
3. Chile Banned Plastic Bags in 100+ Coastal Places
8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year.
Chile was one of the wonderful countries who decided to do something about it!
4. Scientists Discovered Plastic-Eating Caterpillarscaterpillar that can eat and digest plastic. This discovery could be a breakthrough in the fight against plastic garbage.
Polyethylene (PE) is the most popular plastic worldwide, with 80 million tons produced every year.
It’s produced from oil and requires nearly 400 years to disintegrate entirely. Well, that was the case. Until wax moth caterpillars capabilities were discovered!
5. The Ringling Bros Circus Closed ForeverNever again will they use fear and pain to train wild animals.
146 years of animal abuse are finally over!
6. 50 Million Acres of Forest Won A Court CaseAfter 16 years of fighting EarthJustice has finally won their court battle to protect 50 million acres of forests from logging and road construction.
The Roadless Rule was adopted towards the end of the Clinton administration and it prohibits most logging and road construction in roadless areas of national forests – which come up to about 50 million acres, that is about the size of Nebraska. The precious lands are some of the wildest places that still exist in America.
7. Snow Leopards Came Off The Endangered List
For the first time in 45 years wild snow leopards came off the the endangered list.
A wonderful step in the right direction!
8. Balearic Islands Banned Bull Fighting To The DeathSpain’s Balearic Islands banned matadors from killing bulls in the ring.
They’re not alone. Several Spanish regions are moving towards criminalizing the centuries-old blood sport.
9. India Banned All Disposable Plastic In Its CapitalIndia is responsible for 60% of the plastic that is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.
In an amazing step forward the capital city, Delhi, banned all single-use plastic.
10. Gembira Loka Zoo Ended It’s Animal PerformancesThanks to Animals Asia and The Scorpion Foundation the Indonesian zoo discontinued it’s abusive attractions.
Orangutans will no longer be forced to pose for tourist photographs, sun bears will no longer be forced to ride bicycles, and otters won’t have to push carts around anymore.
11. Costa Rica Ran On Renewable Energy For Over 300 DaysIn 2015 the nation went 299 days using only renewables.
In 2017 the country smashed it’s own 2015 green power record.
12. Kalahari Shutdown It’s Tiger Cub Photo OpsAfter only two years of campaigning Kalahari Resorts permanently shutdown their tiger photo opportunities in the hotel lobbies.
As one of the largest sellers of tiger cub photos in the US, this will significantly reduce the number of tiger cubs bred, exploited, and dumped into roadside zoos or the wildlife trade.
13. A New Orangutan Species Was Discovered In SumatraAn isolated population of the Sumatran orangutan is in fact a distinct species, the Batang Toru orangutan.
They diverged from other orangutan species 3.4 million years ago. There are fewer than 800 in existence, making them the rarest of all the great apes.
14. South African Farms Stopped Offering Ostrich RidesTwo big South Africa ostrich farms responded to the growing wave of ethical tourism and stopped offering ostrich rides to visitors.
Thankfully this is one cruel trend that isn’t taking off!
15. Instagram Alerted Users Searching For Animal Abuse ImagesInstagram brought in a new alert system to help fight abusive images.
If you now search for hashtags like #slothselfie there is a ‘Protect Wildlife on Instagram’ notification encouraging users to learn more about the harmful practice.
Want more good news? Here are 14 amazing things that happened in 2016.
Want to be a more responsible traveler?
Tiny changes can make a huge difference
Tips to help both animals and people