Sunday, 19 May 2024
Sunday, 19 May 2024

New partnership formed to improve the welfare of working animals in tourism

GLOBAL animal charity SPANA(the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has announced a new partnership in Morocco with TUI, a leading global tourism group.

The collaboration will help the charity to carry out its vital work transforming the lives of working animals used in tourist activities, and will support local people who depend on working animals to make a living.

Funding from TUI will help SPANA to continue its support programmes for calèche (carriage) horses and camels working in the tourist industry in Morocco. Through these programmes, SPANA provides care and treatment for working animals used for tours, rides, treks and other tourist activities. The charity also works with the Moroccan state authorities to undertake twice-yearly examinations of these animals, advising on animal welfare and reporting any cases of neglect. These checks form part of the license to work, with animals assessed as fit and healthy and given a registration band to confirm they have been examined.

TUI’s contribution will ensure the audit and treatment of more than 500 working animals involved with calèche tours, which will in turn support local Moroccans who rely on working animals for their livelihoods, through their provision of these tours and other tourist experiences.

TUI’s support for SPANA is part of its wider commitment to animal welfare. As part of this, TUI was a key contributor to ABTA’s Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. TUI experiences high demand amongst its customers for visits to animal attractions and wildlife-viewing opportunities whilst on holiday. TUI recognises that these activities have a socio-economic benefit and potential educational and biodiversity advantages and their aim is to help partners achieve best practice standards in animal welfare and protection.

New partnership formed to improve the welfare of working animals in tourism

Linda Edwards, Chief Executive of SPANA, said: 

“The tremendous support we are receiving from TUI will make a considerable difference to our work in Morocco, ensuring that we can provide vital care to hundreds of working animals involved in the tourism industry.

“Working animals, such as horses, camels, donkeys and mules, have an essential role supporting people in communities across Morocco – and in low-income communities throughout the world.

“SPANA’s work protecting and improving the welfare of these animals is critically important, but it is only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters and organisations such as TUI. We are grateful for TUI’s support and this new partnership will enable us to bring about significant improvements to animal welfare – helping both animals and people in Morocco.”

Globally, an estimated 200 million working animals support the livelihoods of families in low-income communities. Despite the importance of their work, working animals often face difficult lives and poor welfare, with no available veterinary care when they are sick or injured.

SPANA works to transform the welfare of working animals across the world, through global activities that include ensuring the provision of veterinary treatment, training for owners in animal care and the teaching of animal welfare lessons to children.

In Morocco alone, SPANA provided care and support to more than 22,000 working animals last year, including animals working in the tourism industry. The charity operates five centres across Morocco, as well as two mobile veterinary clinics to help working animals in remote, rural communities. SPANA also maintains water troughs in locations throughout the country to ensure that working animals have access to a supply of fresh water. 

This year, SPANA is marking its centenary. The charity was founded 100 years ago, in 1923, by British mother and daughter, Kate and Nina Hosali, who travelled across North Africa – including Morocco – in the early 1920s and were struck by the suffering and neglect of many of the working animals they encountered. Last year, SPANA provided essential care to more than 291,000 working animals across the world. 

You can find out more about SPANA’s vital work helping working animals by visiting: www.spana.org.

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