Our animal welfare standards

Updated 1 month ago | 4 min read time

Any experience offered through our platform that involves living things should be done with respect, humility and awareness to the world’s people, animals, communities and environment. We base our decisions on who we will and won’t work with on the Five Freedoms model and the Five Domains model.

What’s in this article:

Who we'll work with

We'll work with the following types of properties and partners:

  • Animal sanctuaries and shelters whose objectives are in the animals’ best interest
  • Zoos and aquariums that are members of an accredited body: World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) and Asociación Ibérica de Zoos y Acuarios (AIZA) and comply with our own Animal Welfare Standards
  • Venues where visitors can observe wild animals in a natural or semi-natural environment
  • Responsible eco-tours that conserve the environment and sustain the well-being of the animals involved with a focus on education
  • Responsible whale-watching and dolphin-watching tours
  • Properties offering rides on or interaction with domesticated animals, such as horse riding

Who we won’t work with

We don't work with properties or partners that offer or promote any of the following activities:

  • Direct interaction with wild animals of certain species*
  • Animal performances, shows and circuses involving wild animals of certain species*
  • Animal fights of any kind
  • Animal racing of any kind
  • Trophy hunting and canned hunting
  • Wild animal riding
  • Aquariums with captive whales and/or dolphins
  • Facilities where wild animals are purposely bred to produce commercial products, such as crocodile farms, civet coffee farms, bear bile farms, turtle farms, snake farms, etc. 
  • Places that sell wild animal products, such as turtle shells, turtle meat, snakeskins, crocodile heads, etc.

* Certain species include marine mammals, elephants, bears, big cats, primates, sloths, birds of prey, reptiles.

The Five Freedoms model

We base our stance on animal welfare on the Five Freedoms model. According to this model, humans must make sure animals have freedom from the following.

  • Freedom from hunger or thirst through access to fresh water and an appropriate diet
  • Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease by treating animals respectfully, ensuring qualified animal management and access to veterinary care
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, an environment resembling the natural habitat and allowing for species-specific social behaviour
  • Freedom from fear and distress by providing conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering

The Five Domains model

Aside from the Five Freedoms model, we also use the Five Domains model to ensure better animal welfare standards. The Five Domains model has a greater focus on the mental state of animals and promotes the positive welfare of animals beyond fair physical treatment. According to this model, animals have the right to the following:

  • Nutrition – access to sufficient, balanced, varied and clean food and water
  • Environment – comfort through temperature, space, air, odour, noise and predictability
  • Health – factors enabling the absence of disease, injury, impairment and a good fitness level
  • Behaviour – factors providing varied, novel and engaging environmental challenges through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding, playing, retreating, etc.
  • Mental state – pleasure, comfort and vitality and the reduction of negative states like fear, frustration, hunger, pain or boredom

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