Thomas Cook, one of the UK’s largest travel companies, will no longer sell tickets to SeaWorld and Loro Parque, due to animal welfare concerns.

The decision comes after increasing pressure from animal rights groups and activists, and changing customer expectations to take animal welfare into account.

Thomas Cook chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, shared research that over 90 percent of customers want their holiday company to take animal welfare seriously, with Fankhauser responding that he “could not allow [the] business to ignore them.”

Along with the two notorious marine parks, the travel giant has additionally removed 29 other animal attractions it had previously sold tickets to for not meeting the standards of the Association of British Travel Agents. It will also cease to sell tickets to any attractions that have orcas in captivity.

This monumental decision proves companies will listen to the public’s concerns and change for the better if enough people demand action.

Thank you so much to the 5,000+ passionate animal-lovers who signed our ActionSprout petition urging Thomas Cook to do the right thing. This pressure, along with the hard work of many other organisations and individuals who campaigned against this cruelty, was enough to stop a huge company in its tracks, forcing them to rethink their approach.

Thomas Cook was selling over 10,000 day trips a year to SeaWorld Florida. This decision will be a huge blow to the marine park, paving the way for other companies to step up and follow suit.

Attitudes are changing when it comes to keeping dolphins and whales in captivity, and more people than ever are speaking out against this injustice. SeaWorld attendance continues to plummet since the release of documentary Blackfish in 2013, and anti-captivity events such as International Empty the Tanks Day continues to grow.

There is still a long road ahead of us until these sentient beings can live the wild and free lives they deserve, but we feel stronger than ever in ourselves, and all of you, that together, we will make this happen.

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