SeaWorld respond after Virgin Holidays announce they will stop selling tickets
SeaWorld has responded after Virgin Holidays announced they will no longer sell tickets to the chain's attractions, which are predominantly comprised of experiences using captive dolphins and whales.
SeaWorld claims that activists "mislead and manipulate marine mammal science to advance their agendas" and that is was "disappointing to see Virgin Holidays succumb to pressure from animal activists".
The company also claims, "no company does more to protect marine mammals and advance cetacean research, rescue and conservation".
The company issued the statement the day after Virgin Holidays made the announcement that it would be removing SeaWorld from its activities available to purchase.
Virgin founder, Richard Branson, released a blog to their website on Monday detailing the company dedication to supporting businesses who do not take animals from the wild. Branson states that Virgin will "end the sales and promotion of tourism attractions that involve captive cetaceans, such as whales and dolphins."
Thomas Cook made a similar pledge last year.
Many activists believe that keeping animals like whales and dolphins in captivity can lead to illness, aggressive behaviour and in some cases death.
Virgin stated that they have been working towards this movement for five years. Since then they have slowly taken multiple steps to removing captive experiences from their holiday packages. They will now support businesses who offer animal trips in the wild for customers who still want the experience.
Tickets that were eventually dropped were:
- Atlantis, Dubai
- Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
- Discovery Cove, Orlando
- SeaWorld, Orlando
- SeaWorld, San Diego
SeaWorld released a statement saying: "Virgin's own corporate mission is having a measurable purpose that positively impacts communities and the environment. SeaWorld is the epitome of that mission.
"With more than 35,000 animal rescues and decades of meaningful scientific contributions, we are proud to be a recognised global leader in marine mammal science, education and, in particular, providing preeminent care to all of our marine mammals.
"With rising threats to our oceans and their inhabitants, supporting independently accredited zoological facilities is more important than ever. No company does more to protect marine mammals and advance cetacean research, rescue and conservation than SeaWorld."