Butterfield & Robinson Confirms End to Elephant Encounters After PETA Appeal

Group Sends Travel Agency Box of Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks

For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Toronto – Following an appeal from PETA, premiere Toronto-based active travel company Butterfield & Robinson has confirmed that it will no longer promote or sell any activity involving captive elephants. To thank the company for its compassionate decision, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has sent a box of elephant-shaped vegan chocolates.

“There’s only one way to force elephants to perform tricks and give rides, and that’s by beating them into submission and constantly threatening them with violence,” says PETA Foundation Captive Animal Law Enforcement Counsel Rachel Mathews. “PETA can proudly point kind travelers to Butterfield & Robinson for active excursions that don’t harm animals.”

When they are only about 2 years old, still-nursing baby elephants in Southeast Asia are often forcibly separated from their mothers, immobilized, beaten, and gouged with nails—sometimes for days at a time—in a process called phajaan. Those who survive the process will likely spend the rest of their lives in chains, lugging tourists around and being beaten with bullhooks—weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with a sharp metal hook on one end.

A lifetime of stress and deprivation can cause elephants to lash out—just last month, a tourist was killed by an elephant during a tour. Elephant encounters also present a disease risk: Tuberculosis, one of the deadliest diseases in the world, is transmissible from elephants to humans and has been documented in elephants throughout Asia.

Butterfield & Robinson joins TUI Group, STA Travel, Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, and others in pledging never to promote captive-elephant businesses.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind