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Save The Asian Elephants Urges Animal Lovers to Contact their MP before 5th September

The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill passed its Second Reading at the House of Lords recently and is now going to Committee stage on the 5th September . This is being spearheaded by Save The Asian Elephants – STAE.

STAE CEO Duncan McNair urges animal lovers to contact their MP  before 5th September to encourage the government and all parties to ensure the Bill becomes law asap. Full details are noted below.

We now also have a comment from Lord Black of Brentwood as well as from charity CEO Duncan McNair.

This Bill is among the most important animal-related bills ever in the UK, protecting millions of endangered animals worldwide. 

STAE has identified to date over 1,200 UK based travel companies advertising nearly 300 brutal overseas elephant venues alone.

A link to the Briefing Document that was sent to the House of Lords is here. A link to the Hansard report is here.

Save The Asian Elephants (“STAE”) with the backing of 100 leading UK animal welfare charities and influencers is pioneering the Bill to end the UK’s sale and advertising of practices abroad where wildlife is cruelly exploited in tourism.  The Bill, a world-first for Britain, has attracted interest from many nations across the world including the EU bloc, USA and Australia.

The Bill has passed all stages in the House of Commons without opposition.  STAE and its numerous supporters urged the House of Lords to vote for the Bill at the Second Reading recently and now urges the public to support this most vital measure before 5th September.  

STAE’s goal is for the Bill to pass into law with huge public backing, so keeping government’s focus on implementing it most robustly.

By prohibiting the UK advertising and sale of access to activities abroad which involve cruelty to animals, the Bill will steer the market towards ethical and safe venues.

This will throw a lifeline to numerous endangered species and enable their observation in natural surroundings from a respectful distance, and without transmission of highly infectious and deadly TB. It will also protect tourists from species such as elephants who often attack when provoked by torture.

The UK market lacks any effective regulation. Law is needed to prevent such brutality to vulnerable and endangered species.  The market is huge and growing. In Thailand captive elephants gave 13 million rides in 2016 and yet only 2,800 tourist elephants survive there, many worked to death. In 2018/19 two million UK tourists visited India and Thailand.  32% of those visiting Thailand reported riding an elephant or wishing to. The Asia-Pacific tourist market is the fastest growing in the world.

STAE has identified to date over 1,200 UK based travel companies advertising nearly 300 brutal overseas elephant venues alone.


To Asian elephants: isolation, daily beating, stabbing, malnourishment and overwork.

To elephants and numerous other species:

  • snatching from the wild, which harms them, local wildlife populations and local people,
  • mothers killed, injured or harmed to capture infants,
  • breeding mothers kept in and forced to raise their young in cruel facilities,
  • infants taken from their mothers too young,
  • a high mortality of animals in transit and trade,
  • animals kept in unnatural and harmful forms of captivity, particularly damaging to long lived species and those accustomed to a large range in the wild,
  • animals forced to perform unnatural behaviours,
  • the use of fear, pain or drugs or the treat of their use to control and ‘train’ animals,
  • the use of methods of domination to traumatise and subdue animals,
  • animals closely handled by multiple untrained people giving no option to retreat,
  • risk of zoonotic disease transmission especially with animals used as photo props and handled by numerous people,
  • keeping of animals no longer used for exhibition in cruel surroundings or their killing before reaching their natural end of life.


STAE is calling on the UK government to ensure the passage into law as soon as possible of the Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill, in line with its past pledges to help elephants and other endangered species in line with its action plan on animal welfare.



Read about STAE’s notable Board members including Prince Emmanuel de Merode, Ian Redmond OBE, Dr S. Chinny Krishna and Hon. Jigmi Yoser Thinley.

What would it mean for this law to be passed?

A crucial step towards saving many highly endangered iconic species across the world.

What will it mean if the law does not go through?

A disastrous lost opportunity to arrest the brutal treatment and decline into extinction by Man’s hand of many wondrous and important creatures.


Image with thanks to Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES)

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Notes to editors

Notes to the editor: For interviews and images please contact Karin Ridgers [email protected] or Jo [email protected] 07970 732668 A link to the Briefing Document that was sent to the House of Lords is here. Support the new Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill to progress through Parliament and into new law, as promised now by Government, by:
  • Signing the STAE petition at
  • Sending the cut and paste letters on to politicians and foreign High Commissions in London:
  • Spreading the word to the media, writing articles, sharing on social media
  • Introducing STAE to large and influential audiences and media publications
  • Volunteering for STAE
  • Telling your travel agent why you want no direct contact with animals on holiday.
About Save The Asian Elephants’ CEO Duncan McNair: Duncan is a lawyer practising in commercial and Wills litigation, author and animal welfare campaigner. Duncan undertakes extensive pro bono charity work, especially in the field of local communities and animal welfare. In 2015 he founded Save The Asian Elephants (“STAE“), a coalition of politicians, academics, lawyers, field experts and campaigners working to protect the Asian elephant from abuse and extinction ( He has addressed numerous influential audiences on the issues arising and solutions formulated by STAE in liaison with specialists in India, the UK and worldwide. Duncan was named “UK Animal Hero of the Year” (2018) in an event attracting 851 nominations. In 2021 STAE was named among the 9 best elephant charities in the world for the impact of its work. See STAE’s Briefing Note on the Bill to members of the House of Lords with photos and list of many of its supporters.    

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