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Roehampton anthropology expert to advise the travel industry on primate protection

Professor Stuart Semple from the Life Sciences Department at the University of Roehampton will be advising the travel industry in a workshop held in London this week at an event called "Animals in Tourism".

Posted: 8 December 2015

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The objective of the day is to provide employees of the travel businesses with an insight of the importance of upholding good practice standards in animal protection in tourism experiences and activities involving animals.

 In his workshop, Stuart will be providing examples of tourism activities and excursions with primates: from the bogus sanctuaries, to the use of individuals as props in tourist photographs, and the viewing of primates in the wild. He will discuss how these activities compromise the welfare of the animals involved, what would be regarded as reliable indicators of bad practice/poor welfare, and what alternative activities may exist for tourists to experience primates in ways that do not raise concerns about animal welfare or customer safety.

 Professor Semple said: "It is a great opportunity to share our knowledge from our studies on primates to protect animals and enable tourists to view these amazing creatures safely. Our studies have led us to recommend, for example, that best practice for primate tourism is to ensure that you keep a safe distance at all times (minimum 5m, ideally 10m) from wild primates, never feed or try to interact with them, and above all, remember these are wild animals and treat and respect them accordingly."

This venture is coordinated by Global Spirit, a responsible tourism consultant, in collaboration with the Born Free Foundation.

To find out more about the Life Sciences department and how you can learn about protecting primates, please visit our Anthropology course page. 

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