Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation welcomes Patron Henry Smith MP’s Adjournment debate on Government support for animal welfare in overseas tourism

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) has welcomed Patron Henry Smith MP’s Adjournment debate yesterday evening on ‘Government support for animal welfare in overseas tourism’.

LONDON, 25th January 2023

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) has welcomed Patron Henry Smith MP’s Adjournment debate yesterday evening on ‘Government support for animal welfare in overseas tourism’.

Many animal tourist attractions abroad involve poor animal welfare practices. Captured elephants abroad are often young and forced to endure long, painful beatings, while being deprived of water, food, and sleep. This process, designed to ‘domesticate’ the elephant, ensures submission for tourist activities.

The Government has committed to taking action to end the UK’s role in advertising and selling such tourist activities. Defra’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare published in 2021 said: “Animals such as Asian elephants may be subjected to cruel and brutal training practices to ensure their obedience. We will legislate to ban the advertising and offering for sale here of specific, unacceptable practices abroad.”

During yesterday’s debate, Patron Henry Smith MP spoke on the  hundreds of thousands of wild animals who are exploited for entertainment in the global tourism industry. These activities can include tiger cubs made to pose for selfie photographs, elephant rides and swimming with dolphins experiences, as well as captive dolphin shows. He said: “There needs to be new legislation banning the promotion of holidays and tours that include exploitative animal encounters in their advertisements, helping to end the miserable abuse by making such unethical advertising illegal.”

Other MPs who contributed to the debate included Dr Lisa Cameron MP who highlighted the cross party support on this issue, and named CAWF Co-Founder Lorraine Platt. She said: “Does he agree that this is a cross-party issue, unlike many that we may discuss, and that we can reach out across the political divide and come together with the public, who overwhelmingly support having the best animal welfare conditions in the UK and internationally? Does he also agree that advocates such as Lorraine Platt, who leads the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, and others do fantastic work in this space to ensure that we all work together cross-party to take this forward?”

This debate came ahead of the scheduled Second Reading of the Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill on Friday 3rd February, which received its First Reading in June 2022 led by Conservative MP Angela Richardson.

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation fully supports the Bill to ban the sale and advertising of unacceptable and cruel tourist practices abroad. CAWF Co-Founder Lorraine Platt has been a Director of Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) since February 2018.

You can read the full debate here.

Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation and Director of Save The Asian Elephants, commented: “We welcome this important debate raising awareness of the horrific practices which take place to accommodate tourist activities overseas. Elephants in particular are subject to cruel beatings to create fear and submission, and many die during this process. It is critical the UK plays no role in the promotion of the tourist activities associated with these practices.

“We would like to thank our Patron Henry Smith MP for leading this debate, as well as other MPs including Angela Richardson, Kerry McCarthy and Dr Lisa Cameron who made supportive contributions.”

Yesterday Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation was pleased to support Save The Asian Elephants (STAE)’s petition delivery outside Downing Street with Patron Stanley Johnson and other MPs and Peers including Angela Richardson MP, Virendra Sharma MP and Baroness Hayman, as well as celebrity supporters Ann Widdecombe and Peter Egan.

You can read more about the petition delivery in the Daily Express here.

About Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF)

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation was established in 2016 to raise awareness on the lives of billions of animals reared on intensive farms around the world and how this impact upon animal welfare, the environment and people’s health. We want to highlight the action people can take to help advance farm animal welfare.

Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards.

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation believes it is highly important that the welfare of farm animals is placed at the forefront of the Governments plan for food and farming along with its focus on productivity, competitiveness, and technology.

Media contact: Sophia Stileman (, 07715888164).

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