Statement: Prince William’s visit to China

03/04/2015

Our statement in reference to Prince William’s recent visit to China.

"Every year wild elephants endure horrific training methods known locally as ‘the crush’ in order to force them to perform and let tourists ride upon their backs."

Mike Baker, Chief Executive, World Animal Protection, says:

“World Animal Protection would like to commend Prince William for drawing global attention to the illegal trade in elephant ivory. We also welcome the news that China has taken a positive step forward by placing a temporary ban on ivory imports. However, we have severe concerns related to the use of wild animals such as elephants for entertainment.

"Every year wild elephants endure horrific training methods known locally as ‘the crush’ in order to force them to perform and let tourists ride upon their backs. When the rides are over these social animals often restrained in isolation by chains on concrete surfaces that cause great damage to their feet.

"We know that the majority of people engage in these activities because they love wild animals. Typically they are unaware that a moment of entertainment equals a lifetime of suffering for the elephants involved. Tourists who want to experience animals while on holiday should be visiting the animals in their natural habitats. Find out more by visiting beforetheybook.org.”