Holiday souvenirs cause animal suffering

A holiday excursion offers unforgettable experiences: relaxation by the sea and warm tropics with scenic landscapes are especially popular with travelers. However, in many holiday countries, souvenirs are presented that consist of parts of the body of animals and are always associated with cruelty to animals.

Illegal Holiday Souvenirs: Skins, pickled scorpions, live animals

These souvenirs range from scorpions pickled in liquor bottles to rugs made of animal skins, to coral jewelry, mother of pearl, ivory carvings, exotic leather bags or even live animals.

Illegally smuggled souvenirs often appear only during customs control at the airport. Many exotic souvenirs are illegal and punishable by law – the frenzy of souvenirs for some tourists means enormous suffering for animals that have been treated or pressed alive in their luggage.

souvenir beads

Cruelty to animal souvenirs: 95% of the animals brought back are dead

Frankfurt Airport is an important hub for international air traffic. In 2018 alone, local customs authorities made the rounds 20,500 . products of safe protected animal species, [1] It was 2020 so 120,000 animals and plants or confiscation of products made from it. [2]

However, the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher, with around 25 million passengers a year at Frankfurt Airport alone. [3] It is impossible to check all baggage. During random checks, a variety of animal cruelty products were discovered, among other things

  • Bear bile is a supposed magical remedy, especially in Asia, taken from animals still alive under the most terrible conditions.
  • walrus teeth
  • wild cat bone
  • Bags and shoes made of elephant or stingray leather.

These products are just a small part of the long list of cruelty-free souvenirs that tourists can buy in exotic countries. All these products have one thing in common: they mean animal death. They are bred precisely to abuse, others are cruelly torn from their familiar habitat.

Someone cuts a snake in the head

Live animals never belong in baggage

In addition to souvenirs such as jewelry, decorative items, or clothing made from body parts of endangered species, customs officials discovered up to 1,269 cases in 2020. live animals. [2] For these animals, crammed into baggage, this journey involves unimaginable fear and suffering: they are starving and dying of thirst, not knowing what is happening to them as they are shipped from one end of the world to the other. Among the smuggled animals are the following types:

  • monkeys
  • Bengal cats
  • Lizards, such as iguanas and lizards
  • Poisonous and dangerous animals such as tarantulas.

Live animal smuggling is often a targeted animal trade. But tourists also continue to try to return live animals to their home countries from vacation, which causes enormous suffering to the animals. A large percentage of animals do not survive these transfers.

bag at the airport

Animal markets in travel countries rely on mercy

Many of the animals that travelers carelessly or in good faith smuggle into Germany come from the animal markets of the respective travel countries. Local merchants deliberately rely on the pity of the guests and raise puppies and cats, but also other animals such as birds, reptiles and rodents alone and shivering with fear, hunger and thirst in small cages – in the hope that tourists will take pity on the suffering animals and buy them from them.

However, actually a good decision to want to break the cycle of suffering of an organism has the opposite effect – and harms animals finally. With every purchase, tourists support a ruthless business model that constantly plunges new animals into misery and enables merchants and breeders to continue making profits at the animals’ expense. Therefore, please do not buy live animals from such markets.

Photo tourism with captive animals increases animal suffering

Travelers continue to visit supposed tourist attractions where they can take pictures with supposedly tamed animals for money. The photos should serve as a beautiful keepsake – but behind them lies a ruthless system of animal exploitation.

Especially popular are so-called tiger temples and so-called sanctuaries, where paying visitors can pet big cats up close and take pictures with them. In almost all cases, big cats come from the illegal pet trade. They are drugged with drugs, and in order to amuse visitors, they are forced to spend their lives on a short chain. Please never book such offers as you do not support the suffering of this animal.

How to help animals in holiday areas

  • Avoid activities where participants have direct contact with wild animals and do not buy souvenirs made from animal parts. Only when the demand decreases will the supply of cruelty-free products and activities also decrease.
  • Make it clear on the site unequivocally that you refuse such offers.

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