07 JUL 2017: An animal protection agency has shared some findings about how animals are being treated in six Asian nations. They have determined that three-quarters of all elephants kept in captivity for entertainment purposes are in Thailand and for the most part; the conditions under which these animals live are poor and unacceptable.

Captive elephants in Thailand are said to have provided 13 million tourists with rides last year.

London-based World Animal Protection looked at almost 3,000 elephants at entertainment venues and reported that three quarters of the animals are chained up when not working, were under nourished and received unsatisfactory veterinary care.

They describe harsh initial training “that breaks their spirits and makes them submissive enough to give rides and perform.”

World Animal Protections has convinced 160 travel companies to stop sales and promotion of businesses that offer elephant rides and shows.

In 2016, TripAdvisor announced that it would end the sale of tickets for wildlife experiences where tourists have direct contact with wild animals, including elephant riding.

It is not only the conditions of elephants that are under scrutiny, the agency is also looking at the living conditions of working conditions of tigers, macaques and bears.

“If you can ride, hug or interact with wild animals, chances are there’s cruelty involved,” said Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, WAP’s global wildlife and veterinary adviser and author of the elephant report.

This research was carried out between November 2014 and May 2016 across all venues that could be identified in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and parts of India. A total of 220 venues were investigated.

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