Tourism and Animal Welfare

Document Type


Publication Date



Millions of animals are used annually in the tourism industry as captives for display and entertainment, as porters and carriers, as quarry to be hunted and fished, as well as for purposes of competition and sport. This paper investigates the extent to which the welfare of animals is considered in tourism, both in theory and practice. The paper broadly examines the concept of welfare from an interdisciplinary standpoint, including how it is defined and measured, the importance of sentience, pain and suffering in understanding welfare, and methods of enhancing animal welfare. The paper expands on animal welfare as it applies to tourism scholarship and tourism industry practice. Zoos and sled-dog tourism are examples used to illustrate animal welfare challenges in tourism, and a number of key questions are included in an effort to move the tourism and animal welfare agenda forward.