Should We Really Be Cuddling That Koala?

This interview with Jim Macbeth continues the dialog on the ethics of animals in tourism which was raised in a recent article in the Conversation. Would removing the chance to cuddle koalas bring light to the dire situation they face in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales? Should we as humans be held accountable to ensure the survival of koalas in the wild before deciding to exploit them for a photo opportunities in captivity?

Animals are a big drawcard in the tourism industry. People love to do things like cuddle a koala, go horesback riding or be entertained by a performing seal or dolphin.

Credit: Getty Images

Audio: Jim Macbeth talks about the ethics of animals in tourism. Direct Audio Link.

But should tourist operators and we as consumers be thinking more deeply about our relationship with these animals that are used to entertain us? Is enough being done to protect their welfare? Or should they have the right to be simply left alone? Tourism expert Jim Macbeth has written a thought provoking article called Not all fun and games: the missing ethics of animals in tourism.

Presenter: Heather Jarvis

Speaker: Jim Macbeth, Emeritus Associate Professor at Murdoch University in Western Australia. His paper, Not all fun and games: the missing ethics of animals in tourismwas recently published by the online site The Conversation.

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