Dear (MP NAME)

New law to stop UK tour operators promoting elephant abuse and spread of deadly viruses to tourists

As your constituent I urge your support for a Bill to ban advertising of cruel Asian elephant related “attractions”. Endangered baby elephants are snatched from the wild, starved, beaten and stabbed for easy commercial exploitation - riding, selfies and “tricks”.

Save The Asian Elephants shows 871 UK based companies (and rising fast) promoting hundreds of the most violent Asian elephant-related venues across SE Asia. When travel restrictions lift UK tourists will again unwittingly contribute to such atrocities. In 2018/19 2 million UK tourists visited India and Thailand. In 2016 13 million elephant rides occurred in Thailand alone.

Elephants provoked by abuse attack and kill tourists. Broken down and held in fetid close confinement they also transmit deadly airborne viruses to humans such as TB. Developing research suggests a grave risk of shedding Covid-19 to humans too.

“Guidelines” asserted by @ABTAlovetravel are vague, full of loopholes, lack any mechanism for monitoring, enforcement or sanctions for breach, are wholly voluntary, with no take up or effect. Experts who helped ABTA draft them express dismay that key advice has been excluded by ABTA in the published version, described as positively “dangerous” in a Covid world. ABTA as the paid mouthpiece for such operators is plainly conflicted. Indeed STAE has to date identified 110 ABTA members promoting hundreds of abusive venues, including all the worst. ABTA and its members have for years ignored STAE’s requests to desist.

STAE has recorded numerous broken promises of change, showing the futility of blandishments as a substitute for law and sanctions.

STAE’s draft Bill requested by DEFRA Minister Lord Goldsmith bans UK advertising and sale of such venues, promoting genuine sanctuaries where elephants can be observed from a safe and respectful distance.

Populus polling (July 2020) shows 90% of Britons demand an immediate end to such abuse. 79% want STAE’s new law now. STAE’s petition has over 1 million signatures plus 30 million from aligned petitions, backed by 100 influencers and key bodies including all main SE Asian religions.

I look forward to hearing from you, thank you.

Yours sincerely