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World Expeditions Removes Eagle-Hunting Festival from its Mongolian program

June 18, 2019 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has removed the eagle hunting festival from its Mongolian program, as part of its continued drive to ensure its complete range of active itineraries adheres to the strictest standards of animal welfare. 

According to World Expeditions Responsible Travel Manager, Donna Lawrence, the decision was taken in consultation with World Animal Protection, the expert organization which assists in the company’s comprehensive Animal Welfare Code of Conduct.

“Although it is not our place to pass judgement on the long-held cultural tradition of eagle hunting in Mongolia, it is our place to remove tourism activities from our program that do not adhere to the principals of animal welfare,” Ms Lawrence said.

“The eagle hunting festival is a spectacle for tourists and the welfare of the eagles and their prey at the festival does not adhere to the universally accepted ‘Five Freedoms’ of animal welfare”, on which our animal welfare Code of Conduct is based,” she said.

World Animal Protection Senior Wildlife and Veterinary Advisor, Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach said the concept of the eagle-hunting had cultural origins, but the festival was first conceived in 1999 with the purpose of boosting tourism.

“The festival is a comparatively new event designed to attract tourism,” Dr Schmidt-Burbach said, “and the commercial aspect of the festival has unfortunately led to negative impacts on the welfare and the conservation of the eagles.”

World Expeditions is a leading operator in Mongolia, due to the long term involvement of Tim Cope, widely recognized as a leading expert on Mongolia and its surrounds.  Tim authored the award-winning On the Trail of Genghis Khan, a first-hand account of his years-long journey through Mongolian steppe and was the 2016 recipient of the Mongolian friendship medal, in recognition of his work in celebrating and promoting Mongolian nomad culture internationally.  In addition, he received the 2015 Mongolian Government tourism excellence award, and was made an honorary ambassador for Mongolian Tourism internationally.

Tim remains a long-time escort on many of World Expeditions’ Mongolian adventures, all of which have been crafted to deliver exceptional experiences and insight into the fascinating Mongolian culture and to explore its remote and harshly beautiful landscape.

One of the stand-out itineraries is the 18 day Mongolia Nomad Explorer with Tim Cope, which provides an insight into the ancient nomadic desert cultures of Western Mongolia, including a three day, camel-supported trek in the Altai Range as well as time with nomadic families.  Escorted by Tim, the trip departs Ulaanbataar on 25 September 2020 and costs $7,890 per person.

A new trek into Western Mongolia to experience Mongolia’s remotest region and its peoples’ 5,000-year old nomadic heritage is another that is expected to attract keen interest amongst travellers.  The 11 day Mongolian Tavan Bogd Trek with World Expeditions departs Ulaanbaatar between June and August and costs $3,790 per person.

For more information, call 1300 720 000 or visit www.worldexpeditions.com

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